As more companies work to increase the automation of the vehicles they manufacture, some are also installing systems that automatically upload data about the behavior of the drivers. Tesla is one company that manufactures vehicles that are sold in New York and that send information about driver behavior via the Internet.
In early June, a Tesla driver claimed that his vehicle accelerated without warning, causing him to crash into a building. The company was able to review data it had gathered that demonstrated the man had instead placed full pressure on the accelerator pedal, causing the vehicle to sped up according to the direction his action gave it.
Other car makers have rudimentary black boxes installed that provide some data about driver behavior, and some insurance companies provide incentives to their customers who agree to install tracking devices. While many people may cringe about the privacy implications of such devices, studies have shown that the installation of basic systems can make traveling safer. Rudimentary devices installed in taxis and police cars have resulted in fewer accidents, showing that drivers may behave better when they know their driving behavior is being monitored.
With increasing numbers of autonomous vehicles entering the nation’s roadways in the coming years, it is likely that the number of injury and fatality accidents will greatly decrease. There is still the possibility that even with autonomous cars, accidents will still happen, causing serious and sometimes catastrophic results. An attorney representing an injured victim may in the future have additional technological tools that could assist in pinpointing the party or parties that should bear financial responsibility for the crash.