According to the Arizona Republic, a panel of “futurists” (I wonder if that is what the professors and graduate students actually called themselves) has recently considered some of the ramifications of driverless, often referred to as “autonomous” cars. One of their conclusions was that “deep revenue sources [for government entities] acquired from driving-related violations, such as speeding tickets and DUIs, will decrease sharply.” It is likely true that the autonomous cars will dramatically decrease traffic violations, but the city officials in Phoenix and Mesa seem to disagree with the assertion that these tickets are a “deep revenue source,” asserting that such sources fund only about 1% of their overall budget (bet it is a higher percentage in Star Valley).
Although the consequence of this new technology may not have much of an impact on government revenue, there is no question that autonomous car technology could dramatically decrease the number of auto accidents. It seems that the best studies sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/udashortrpt/documentation_page.html), have found that almost all (above 90%) of all auto accidents are caused by human error. The purpose of the autonomous car is to eliminate that human error, and, therefore, limit or eliminate accidents.
As an auto injury lawyer, I have spent decades with clients experiencing the injuries, trauma, disruption, lost income, and sometimes loss of life following an auto accident. Can we be witnessing the era in which those harms and that suffering may largely disappear?
Yes, it would also make insurance claims for such accidents no longer necessary, and lawyers, like me, who pressure those insurance companies to treat people fairly would also not be needed–at least not nearly as much. If Google, Tesla, Mercedes, Ford, and the other companies currently involved in this research can produce a product that eliminates this human suffering, it would constitute, in my opinion, one of the great achievements in human history. I can use my law license to help in some other way. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Attorney Kevin Fine with Davis Miles McGuire Gardner at (480) 733-6800 or via email email@example.com.