Automobiles have undergone significant changes with the advent of electric cars and accompanying autonomous driving technologies. Thanks to companies like Tesla, these technologies have been advancing, and we are beginning to see improvements and vehicles that can drive independently. While they are not perfect and can make mistakes or cause accidents, under current California laws, the state cannot issue fines to self-driving cars without a driver.
Tesla was one of the first companies to manufacture electric cars with autonomous driving features. When they showcased videos demonstrating this technology years ago, they went viral and attracted the attention of millions worldwide. The ability to ride in a car without constant attention to the steering wheel and road was innovative. However, in reality, this autonomous driving system is not as reliable and has been involved in accidents.
California cannot penalize driverless autonomous cars like those from Waymo.
Although Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) is not perfect, other companies are focusing on autonomous vehicles as well. It may sound futuristic, but Alphabet (Google) began developing an autonomous vehicle project that eventually became Waymo, which is currently operational. These cars offer significant benefits, as they can operate automatically and do not require a driver, making them available 24 hours a day.
Waymo is available for rides in San Francisco and Phoenix, with plans to launch in Los Angeles and Austin. This company, which offers an autonomous taxi service, cannot be fined in California, as current laws prevent traffic fines for these types of cars. Opinions and concerns vary, with some believing these vehicles are safe and others thinking otherwise.
Waymo’s autonomous cars have not experienced any deaths from accidents.
There have been cases of driverless autonomous vehicles running red lights and deviating in construction areas. They are not a perfect solution to avoid all types of accidents, but there is little that can be done about it. Current California regulations do not allow for fining an autonomous car because there is no human driver.
Typically, technology advances much faster than laws, as legislation must be proposed, approved, and enacted. As a result, the current California laws applied to earlier vehicles, which obviously couldn’t operate without drivers. Moreover, Waymo and Cruise have not reported any fatalities from accidents with their driverless autonomous cars, appearing “quite reliable.” Only time will tell if California decides to revise its laws and issue fines to driverless vehicles.
The article first appeared on El Chapuzas Informático.