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Cadillacking: self-driving cars face legal difficulties

Posted by: | September 9, 2014 | No Comment |

2010 Cadillac CTS

In a Yahoo News article, Cadillac promises a self-driving car technology by 2017. But is it too good to be true?

General Motors plans to sell the new technology, “Super Cruise”, as a convenience feature. By avoiding to suggest that it could make a driver safer, GM attempts to avoid legal scrutiny. Of course, who could forget the infamous safety crisis in which GM participated this very year?

But what legal problems does GM face now? The main concern is the potential for drivers to use this new tech to pay even less attention than they do already. “After years of fighting distracted driving with sloganeering about hands on the wheel and eyes on the road”, Justin Hyde, author of the article, states, “automakers now find themselves pressured to design and sell systems that tout the ability to do just the opposite.”

However, GM says the system would “increase the comfort of an attentive driver on freeways,” and GM CEO Mary Barra also said Super Cruise “will keep drivers alert and engaged.”

Maybe about as “alert” and “engaged” as drunk teenage drivers texting in a hot-boxed car.

Furthermore, automakers have warned that this technology would be slowed if the industry wasn’t given a legal shield from customer lawsuits. After all, America is infamous for frivolous lawsuits.

In any case, since regulators move slowly, automakers will probably have more Super Cruise-like systems before lawmakers can even answer the question: should such technology be in charge of our lives?

under: Comm 455
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