Is the Future Here? The First Step in “Connected Cars”
In the past, our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green have written about the future of auto safety. When “smart cars” will communicate with one another as a way to reduce accidents. Technology can help despite the unfortunate yet increasing inattentiveness of drivers. Will Smart Car technology make roads safer and cause less crashes?
It seems the future may now be arriving. Audi is in the early stages of rolling-out a program which will enable its cars to connect to street lights. This project is occurring in various cities. One being Las Vegas. According to a press release from Audi, they are the first car maker to launch the so-called “V2I” (vehicle-to-infrastructure) tech in the United States.
The central benefit of this revolutionary technology may be to quell the lack of patience experienced by many drivers. Those drivers who wait for what seem like hours for the light to turn green. The “time-to-green” feature of the technology will have a countdown, on your dashboard, telling you exactly how many seconds remain until the red light turns green. But as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know, this technology signals the early days of truly connected cars. More immediate developments might include the ability to quickly process traffic information throughout a city. Enabling a car to adjust to a certain speed given the number of upcoming green lights vs. red lights, etc. We hope that this is a beginning to a safer car and to safer roads.
Eventually, though, cars won’t just be receiving information from central city info hubs (as the Audi is currently doing with help from Las Vegas). At some point, in the now-not-so-distant-future, cars will talk to each other. They will be able to obtain information, in real time, about what’s going on along the road ahead. This type of technology can be helpful for drivers, but it reflects a necessity for cars which will be self-driving. And given that Google and Tesla, among others, are already working on developing and implementing self-driving car technology, it will be crucial for those cars to be able to discover and process safety information relating to road hazards, swerving drivers ahead, etc.
Of course, with added benefits come added risks. As auto technology develops, we as a society will become more dependent on the computers installed in our cars. Just as litigation routinely ensues after mechanical malfunctions on cars result in injury or death to drivers and passengers, there will certainly be litigation arising from glitches in “smart car” technology. In many ways, smart cars present potentially unlimited opportunities for computer glitches. Another issue to consider with respect to connected cars is the possibility of the car being hacked. Would someone be able to control your vehicle’s computer? What effect these cars will have on the auto insurance market is largely yet to be seen.
There are certainly issues that need to be figured out. Issues that should be figured out before we start putting these cars on our roads. Ultimately, we believe these cars will help reduce accidents and make our roads safer. We should go slow with this technology and make sure our smart cars are truly smart and will not fail us when on our roads.