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Articles Tagged with self driving vehicles

Bill-Berenson-running-near-US-CapitolNew federal legislation will curb giant injury and death toll on roads

Hurray! The U. S. House of Representatives has just passed the Moving Forward Act. It allots one-half trillion dollars for transportation initiatives that will make our roads safer. It now moves to the Senate, where hopefully it will be passed and then signed into law. This legislation is urgent.

(The photo was taken during the Marine Corp Marathon when Mr. Berenson was running a marathon in every state.)

That is because, forgotten in the grim daily news about the pandemic, is that each year over 36,000 Americans die and two million others are injured in motor vehicle collisions. They happen 24/7. They can happen to anyone who is driving. Here in Texas, we have not had a day without at least one death on our highways for almost 20 years. That’s disgraceful.

Virtually all of these car and truck crashes are caused by human error and are clearly preventable. But we need to crack down on them since relying on drivers to follow the traffic laws and simply keep their eyes on the road has clearly been unsuccessful.

The Moving Forward Act (H.R.2) includes a grab bag of badly needed safety measures. These will make our highways and vehicles safer by doing the following things:

  • Requiring driver assistance systems like lane drift warnings, blind spot monitors, and emergency automatic braking to be standard (not expensive package price options as they are now) features in new vehicles. They can stop collisions before they happen.
  • Implementing technology to curb DWIs and DUIs by detecting intoxicated or impaired driver behavior, leading causes of crashes in our highways; a
  • Enhancing commercial truck safety by improving under ride and side guards and keeping tired 18-wheeler drivers off of our roads.

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Future transportation vehicles on display here this weekend

On Saturday I drove my wife and myself to Arlington to demo some crazy future transportation shuttles and I was very impressed with what I saw. The van we rode in drove, stopped, and steered safely all by itself. There was no chance of any distracted driving, driving while intoxicated, speeding, or other stupid driver actions that anger me as a Fort Worth car accident lawyer that I see on a daily basis.

I hope these new vehicles can help make our roads safer and reduce the 54 car wrecks in Tarrant and Dallas Counties on an average day. With the rapid changes technology is bringing to our lives, we are on the cusp of innovative changes in the way we move around. Within our lifetimes, it is predicted that vehicles out of a sci-fi movie will be norm.

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But are self-driving vehicles safe?

Three vans that move slowly without drivers will be available to ride around the stadiums/Six Flags area in Arlington starting today. Presumably other Texas cities are considering the use of self-driving vehicles. But while some people say they are the future of transportation, most are frightened.

Proponents of this new technology say that these vehicles are far safer than the ones on the road now. With 84,000 crashes each year just here in Tarrant and Dallas Counties, that’s hard to dispute. And disability advocates argue that handicapped people will be able to get around easier.

On the other hand, skeptics point to several fatal collisions and argue that there are not enough safety procedures to protect the driving public from robotic vehicles on the open roads.

Both sides are right.

Congrats to Arlington, “America’s Dream City,” for pushing the Dallas-Fort Worth area forward and trying to make our streets safer. The new service from an exciting California start up company called driver.ai starts this weekend. Next weekend, the hours will be from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

I am always advocating for safer roads and am planning to ride one of the vans tomorrow to learn more. I’ll give you a full report Monday.

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