In 2012 when Google first tested their self driving car, they said that “even though the project is still in the experimental stage, it would provide a glimpse into the future of what automobiles will be able to do.” They felt that self driving cars would make it safer for motorist on the roads, improve fuel efficiency of vehicles and increase the number of people being transported.

Now, just a little over a year later, automobile technology has come one step closer to driver-less vehicles. Automobile manufacturers are already using autonomous technology to assist and in some cases correct drivers actions; but technologist, legal scholars and government regulators are debating the legal implications of the technology. They all agree that there is a potential to reduce human error and allow better fuel efficiency, but question of legal liability, privacy and insurance regulations still need to be addressed. According to O. Kevin Vincent, chief counsel of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “the federal government does not have enough information to determine how to regulate driver-less technologies.” The technology relies heavily on global positioning satellite data and other systems, which are vulnerable to jamming by malicious computer hackers.

Google has already been lobbying states to permit autonomous driving, which indicates that the company may hope to introduce such vehicles soon. Nevada became the first state to legalize driver-less vehicles last year, , and similar laws have now been introduced before legislatures in Florida and Hawaii. It is expected that a similar bill will be introduced in California soon.

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