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Bill would loosen restrictions on driverless vehicles in Florida

Autonomous vehicles may seem like something out of a science fiction novel, but they are increasingly being tested across the nation, including right here in Florida. However, one Florida representative wants to loosen the restrictions on driverless vehicles. A proposal by a Florida representative would eliminate the requirement that autonomous vehicles have a licensed human operator riding in them at all times. This means that driverless cars in Florida could be run entirely by computer software programs.

According to the representative behind the bill, autonomous vehicles can lead to fewer car accidents. He based this conclusion on a National Highway Traffic Administration report that stated that almost 95 percent of serious motor vehicle accidents were linked to human choices. Moreover, he believes allowing companies to use autonomous vehicles for business purposes rather than just testing could be good for the state's economy.

However, according to some experts, it may be too early to rely entirely on such software. In addition, there is the question of who would be liable if an autonomous vehicle without an operator caused a car crash. Even more so, just because most auto accidents can be traced to the choices of those operating the vehicles at issue doesn't mean that taking away the human factor will automatically result in fewer crashes.

In the end, we should not be too hasty to assume that more driverless vehicles on the road would mean fewer accidents will occur. Moreover, it remains to be seen how liability will be sorted out when an autonomous vehicle is involved in a collision. Advancements in technology should be lauded, but they should not be made at the expense of the safety of others. And for those harmed in an auto crash, it is important to understand the cause and what legal recourses are available. It may be possible to recover compensation through a civil action.

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