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Self-driving vehicles pose obstacles for NHTSA

Drivers in Florida will have to wait a bit longer before they can see self-driving vehicles on the road as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that it has run into roadblocks in developing safety guidelines for them. In a notice that the agency intends to make public by the end of November, it requests input on the type of research it should conduct before moving forward. Such research may take years to complete.

This comes just as the Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill in early October, which states how companies that will deploy up to 80,000 self-driving vehicles annually in the next three years will be exempt from having to meet certain safety requirements. A similar measure was passed by the U.S. House in September. Corporations such as General Motors Company, Ford Motor Company and Alphabet Inc. lobbied for these measures while auto safety groups on the other hand are concerned about the perceived lack of safeguards.

Under the bill, the NHTSA will provide the waivers. The agency also has 10 years to write new regulations for self-driving vehicles. Currently, there are close to 75 regulations for ordinary vehicles. The agency awaits comments on which regulations it should revise and which it should eliminate.

So long as the human factor accompanies driving, car accidents will be common. If someone was injured by a distracted, fatigued or drunk driver, he or she may be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage and pain and suffering. In the case of death, the family may be covered for funeral expenses and pre-death medical bills with a wrongful death suit. A lawyer can help by hiring investigators to find proof the other's negligence or recklessness, negotiating with the other's insurance company and going to court when an informal settlement can't be agreed upon.

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