Arlington’s New Self-Driving Vehicles Arrive Here On Thursday

High tech junkies, take note: the Alliance for Transportation Innovation will conduct rides in its new shuttles from 9:30 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. at the Arlington Convention Center.

The U.S. Department of Transportation just announced that Arlington is one of 10 out of 60 applicant cities that have been picked to test out driverless cars. In a research partnership with Texas A&M University, the program will test the vehicles out on the University of Texas at Arlington campus, in the Entertainment District (the area surrounding Six Flags Over Texas, AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Park), and on the HOV lanes between Dallas and Fort Worth on I-30.

Government and business leaders will also conduct a a round table Thursday to talk about how Arlington can begin using these vehicles. The fact that Arlington, the largest city in the country with no mass transit, is interested is a good step as our highways get more congested and unsafe.

Other Texas cities that are a part of this study include Houston, San Antonio, Austin, College Station-Bryan, and El Paso, making us the epicenter of driverless car research.

If you’re like me, sitting inside a fast moving vehicle, relying on its computers, sounds scary. Riding on DFW Airport’s shuttle is the closest we’ve probably come to that other than a roller coaster. But almost all (94%) of collisions are caused by driver error, so who knows, perhaps this is a good alternative.

Problems with Tesla’s model a harbinger of problems?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety today released its top picks for 2017. The list notably excluded the Tesla Model S, one of the brand’s models equipped with self-driving capabilities. It failed to meet standards in frontal crashes, headlights, and rollover crashes.

You may remember that a man inside one of these Teslas died last year after it failed to detect an 18 wheeler at a stop.

So the fact that the car manufacturer at the leading edge of this new technology is struggling to make self-driving cars that are safe is troubling.

How self-driving cars may affect you

Self-driving technology is nothing new and is already present in many of our cars. Automatic parking and preventative braking systems are popular features. . Whether you are using self-driving functions on your car or are on the road with these drivers, practicing safety tips like these can help protect you.

How will these cars affect our liability laws and procedures for resolving damages in collision cases? No one knows just yet. And our laws will have to be amended. There are open questions regarding who will be held liable since liability coverage is attached to the driver (and occasionally the owner) of the car. Three bills were introduced in the Texas legislature in 2016 to address driverless cars and all failed. For the U. S. Congress to enact regulations that will keep drivers safe will be even more challenging.

While new technology introduces new challenges on our roads, I understand the issues facing North Texas drivers and will fight to help you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or someone you know is injured in a car or truck collision, please contact us here.

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