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Report shows self-driving cars are far from road-ready

Drivers in New Jersey who are wary about autonomous vehicles should know about a report from the Rand Corporation. It says that automakers and autonomous vehicle developers are rushing to introduce self-driving cars, neglecting safety in the process. Road testing is essential, but it may require millions or even billions of miles before such cars are deemed to be reliable in preventing crashes.

Of all the companies that are developing self-driving car technology, Waymo has driven the most miles, testing its vehicles for over 10 million miles in the real world and for 7 billion miles on virtual roads through its in-house simulation technology. However, the Rand report states that even this is not enough; it may take decades or centuries for cars to be sufficiently tested.

Simply driving the vehicles is not enough to show they are safe, of course. For example, Nvidia has come out with its Drive Constellation simulation platform that will allow develops to test the effect of certain variables on self-driving performance, including weather, road conditions, traffic flow, pedestrian behavior and the angle of the sun.

Self-driving car safety has been a concern for years now. In May 2016, the driver of a Tesla vehicle on Autopilot died in a collision, and March 2018 saw an Uber self-driving car strike and kill a pedestrian in Arizona.

Those who are injured in a car accident with an autonomous vehicle may want to see a lawyer about how to move forward. They may be able to file a claim against the maker of the autonomous vehicle if a defect in it contributed to the crash. Seeking damages from an auto company is a serious move, so victims may want their lawyer negotiating on their behalf. As a last resort, the lawyer may prepare for a courtroom trial.

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