SARASOTA, Fla. — Occurring on May 7 in Williston Florida, the first fatal crash, in the US of a self-driving happened and tragically shattered an impressive safety record of the vehicles that use this innovative and experimental technology. While offering the promise of much safer roads with vehicles that are equipped with both automatic accident avoidance technology and fully self-driving modes the wide spread use of such technology while still under development and testing raises many questions.
Attorney David L. Goldman of the Sarasota Florida-based law firm Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh had this to say about the auto industry’s move toward self-driving technology, “The ‘self-driving’ car, like so many revolutionary technological innovations, should never completely replace human responsibility. At least not yet.
“We can all agree that a self-driving car that takes over when a driver falls asleep or automatically brakes to avoid a crash is a good thing that can save lives. Yet when people turn over all responsibility to machines it does raise important legal and ethical questions.
“Can we really rely on technology to make all these decisions for us? It is possible that a self-driving car which always obeys all rules and law can inadvertently create a more dangerous situation for those in the car.
“For example on an interstate or road where all drivers routinely exceed the speed limit would a self-driving car increase the likelihood of being in an accident by driving under the speed limit? The choices made by a programmed computer to always follow the rules of the road can sometimes be unsafe, especially when other motorists routinely do not obey those laws. Yet it is hard to imagine that a manufacturer would ever program a car to break the law and not follow those rules.
“Additionally, many of us are not yet comfortable with surrendering all control of our lives to computers. Was the fatal Tesla self-driving crash the result of a ‘glitch’? We read of stories in the news of how a Toyota Camry’s accelerator became stuck and killed the driver, or the confusing gearbox in certain Jeeps that causes the vehicle to roll away and resulted in the recent death of a Hollywood actor.
“The bottom line is that while technological innovations can make us safer, at the present time safety may require us to maintain some human control and responsibility when operating a moving vehicle. In the future, this may change. Yet for now staying alert and involved when driving is always the wisest course of action. Better safe than sorry.”
About Attorney David Goldman:
Mr. Goldman is a member of the American Association of Justice, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and the Southern Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Goldman is an Eagle Member of the Florida Justice Association and The Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and received the prestigious Legislative Leadership Award by that organization in 1997.
David Goldman has a long-standing commitment to the community and has served as a board member of many civic organizations. He has worked extensively with the Gulf Coast Latin Chamber of Commerce, the Sarasota African-American Chamber of Commerce, Second Chance Last Opportunity and the Westcoast Center for Human Development. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Community Center and has been a director and member of the Endowment Fund of his local synagogue.
Attorney David L. Goldman
Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh
308 Cocoanut Ave., Sarasota, FL, 34236
More information: http://www.getmejustice.com/.
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