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Computer driven vehicles just over the horizon

Iowa residents might be interested in learning about studies conducted by both the U.S. government and a foundation dedicated to improving transportation. The research concerns self-driving cars and indicates that the presence of self-driven vehicles would most likely result in safer roadways and fewer car accidents.

Automobile manufacturers have already begun the early stages of developing self-driving cars. High-end vehicles feature adaptive cruise control as well as systems designed to control lane departures and avoid collisions. In addition, many vehicles feature parking assist systems, which range from cameras that assist drivers to computers that allow vehicles to park themselves.

Proponents of self-driving cars claim that the concept has many advantages as far as safety is concerned. For example, a study conducted by the Eno Center for Transportation indicates that traffic deaths could be reduced by 1,000 per year if only 10 percent of the vehicles on the road were self-driving. In addition, billions of dollars could be saved overall.

According to government research, 90 percent of all car accidents are caused by driver error. Additionally, other factors such as alcohol, fatigue and various distractions account for more than 40 percent of fatal car crashes. The government study suggests that self-driven vehicles are not subject to such issues; therefore, there is a potential for a drastic reduction as far as fatal traffic accidents are concerned.

Since self-driven vehicles remain a future concept, it is safe to assume that many motor vehicle accidents that occur in Iowa continue to be caused by human error. Those who have been injured in crashes may desire compensation. An attorney may be able to help by researching the incident and obtaining information that might be helpful in building a successful case.

Source: ABC News, "Leaving the Driving to a Computer Has Big Benefits", Joan Lowy, October 22, 2013

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