Employees at Google think self-driving cars could be available to consumers within the next five years, but insurance agencies and government regulators seem to disagree, according to a report by Bloomberg.
It’s no secret that cars are becoming smarter and are able to take more control over driving. Cars already exist on the market that can sense an accident coming, hit the brakes, and even parallel park themselves. Google is one of many companies that have been developing technology for self-driving cars. The company already has test cars on the road in Nevada, California, and Florida, where the self-driving cars have been legalized for testing purposes.
While the idea of a self-driving car that allows drivers to sit back and relax during the morning commute sounds great, it also brings up some issues. The Bloomberg report pointed out that testing the vehicle’s software, regulating safety standards and licensing cars in addition to drivers are all major issues that will need to be addressed before the technology can be made fully available to the public.
The other big stakeholder in the development of self-driving cars is insurance companies. Who is at fault in an accident can change drastically when thinking of a self-driving car hitting another self-driving car. Is the driver of the vehicle still liable for an accident, or is it the fault of the car manufacturer or the software developer?
These are all questions that will need to be answered before self-driving cars become widely available, and the answers are going to come from the courts – which will inevitably delay the large-scale availability of the technology well past the five years Google is predicting.
For now, Google has said they are not looking to produce cars for sale, but are rather focusing on the development of the technology, according to the Bloomberg report.