If a bill just introduced in the Hawaii Legislature is approved, Hawaii streets could soon see driverless autonomous cars in operation. The bill introduced by Representative Gene Ward would allow Google’s much-anticipated driverless cars to be operated by streets.
According to Representative Ward, there is an urgent need for legislation like this, because of the congested roads in Hawaii. Supporters of driverless cars believe that these cars will make the roads safer, because machines are much less likely to malfunction and fail like human drivers. Representative Ward believes that driverless car technology will ultimately benefit motorists.
The driverless cars that have been tested recently are manufactured by Google, and run on a combination of artificial intelligence systems, global positioning devices and sensors to navigate the roads and get from point A to point B safely. The keyword here is ‘safely.’
Google’s biggest challenge in developing a car like this was reducing the number of accidents caused by driver error every year. Most of the 30,000+ people killed in accidents in the United States every year are killed because of driver error or poor driving practices. In fact, when Google began testing the technology, the car was involved in 2 accidents. In each of these accidents, it was the other car being operated by humans which was responsible for the accident.
There are a number of concerns that need to be addressed before the legislation is approved. For instance, we need to look at the question of liability in any injurious or fatal accidents involving a driverless car.