Basic rules need to be established before driverless cars can use roads in West Virginia or anywhere else in America. This is the opinion of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, which also believes that legislation under consideration by the House of Representatives allows too many driverless vehicles to be tested on roadways. A New Jersey congressman said that bills should not move out of committee before getting input from the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
However, that position is currently vacant and awaiting a nomination from President Trump. Both the House and Senate are working on rules that would allow autonomous vehicles, and proponents of the technology believe that it could dramatically reduce the number of traffic deaths. Currently, state and local governments create their own rules regarding driverless vehicles, and auto trade groups are glad to see the federal government take the lead in regulating them.
Automakers say that allowing more driverless vehicles on the road will make it easier to prove that they are safe. This may make it easier for the public to accept them. Ford has invested $1 billion in an effort to have a driverless vehicle on the road by 2021. General Motors made a $500 million investment in Lyft in addition to increasing its driverless fleet of vehicles from 50 to 180.
People who are hurt in car crashes may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit. This may make it possible to obtain a financial award for medical bills and other damages. However, this is typically possible only if the driver who caused the crash was negligent in some fashion, such as being impaired by alcohol or distracted by a cellphone. In the event that a driverless vehicle causes a crash in the future, personal injury attorneys might look to the software developers as potential defendants.