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Self-Driving Cars

I saw a news story on a self-propelled rollercoaster in Japan.







I say “no thank you” to this ride! This “self-rollercoaster” ride reminds me of all the news that is currently surrounding the Tesla Motor Company. We’ll come back to the self-driving car crash below. But, it bears mentioning that I have not written a blog for the past couple of days; which serves to remind me that the blog does not write itself… unfortunately. But I digress.

Joshua Brown, 40, was killed “in a Tesla car” while it was reportedly in Autopilot mode. “In” means he was sitting in the driver’s seat.

Brown, who was from Ohio, owned an Internet business. In a story in the NY Times, a former employee of Brown’s told a reporter that while Brown liked to drive fast, but he considered him a safe driver. Brown regularly posted various YouTube videos of himself “driving” his Tesla car in the hands-free Autopilot feature

Brown was killed when his Model S car did not see a tractor trailer truck that drove across the road, because the Autopilot mode did not distinguish the white side of the turning truck against the Florida sunny sky. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the brakes were not activated by Autopilot or by Brown.

“Once the complete investigation results are published, we’ll obviously evaluate all the data and the conclusions and make our decision from there,” Paul Grieco, the attorney that the family’ hired to file suit against Tesla. .

Frank Baressi, who was the driver of the tractor-trailer, says that the car was going fast when the crash occurred.  (AP reports). He also told investigators that Brown was watching a Harry Potter DVD. He later admitted that he could only hear the audio, and did not see it playing. A portable DVD player was found in Brown’s car according to the Florida Highway Patrol. .

I have been asked how I think that self-driving cars will impact our law practice. I don’t think anyone really knows, although I have always thought that there will always be responsibility for negligence or being inattentive.

At this point,  self-driving car technology is out there but not something seen very often. Right now, laws have not really caught up with the technology as self-driving laws are basically the same as all laws. Regulation will probably change over the coming years to keep up with the evolving technology.

It makes me wonder when we will see ads for pizza delivery by self-driving cars. Those pizzas need to stay safe out there!

And for pic o’ day, the life of lion:


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