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The rise of self-driving cars

A new study published by IHS Automotive says that 20 million self-driving vehicles could be on roadways around the world by the year 2035. This number is particularly larger than previous predictions by IHS Automotive in the past. By 2025, it is believed that 600,000 self-driving vehicles will be sold.

However, IHS is not the only company to predict a huge increase in self-driving vehicles. Experts believe that the self-driving car industry will see a 43 percent annual growth increase from 2025 to 2035 as the self-driving vehicle business begins to take off. That said, not everyone is excited by the idea of giving up the act of driving.

Indeed, approximately 45.8 percent of people are not interested in self-driving technology at this time, according to the University of Michigan. Furthermore, only 15.5 percent are interested in owning a self-driving automobile.

Questions about the safety of this new technology are clearly well-founded. What if the computer crashes while it is trying to drive the vehicle? What if a driver gets locked out of manipulating the manual controls? What about liability?

From a legal perspective, the liability issue relating to self-driving cars is clearly the most interesting. It still sounds like the debate is on regarding who will be liable for a self-driving car accident. Since the cars are equipped with cameras, there will likely be a recorded view of what happened in the accident. However, will the liable party be the car manufacturer, the software company, the owner of the car or the driver of the car? It will certainly be interesting to watch this issue unfold over the next several years.

Source: auto123, "Over 20 Million Self-Driving Cars to the Hit the Roads by 2035," June 08, 2016

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