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Report: Self-driving cars will soon become the new norm

When it comes to safety technology, there is no denying that today's automobile has undergone some rather remarkable developments over the last few decades. Today's motorists find themselves protected by everything from advanced airbag systems to next generation seatbelts.

However, these developments in safety technology include more than just devices designed to protect motorists from serious personal injuries in the event of a car accident. They also include devices designed to prevent car accidents altogether, such as lane departure warning systems and automated braking assistance.

While this technology may seem like something out of a science fiction novel, consider that a recently released report predicts that fully autonomous vehicles -- i.e., self-driving cars -- will become the new norm in as little as 20 years.

The report, published by researchers from IHS Automotive, projects that at least half of all new vehicles sold by 2035 will be self-driving and that this number will jump to almost all new vehicles by 2050.

If this seems a bit far-fetched, consider that several automakers have already begun working on the technology and are vowing to have some form of self-driving car road ready as early as 2020.

However, the IHS report indicates that consumers should perhaps temper their expectations concerning this first-generation of self-driving car as it will more than likely still require a person to sit behind the wheel to take over in the event of an emergency, much like a pilot in an airplane equipped with autopilot. Furthermore, it points out that the technology -- sensors, computing systems, etc. -- is still a long way away from being able to account for all the variables/challenges faced by the average motorist and handle all cyber security issues.

It is nevertheless highly encouraging to know that we may be that much closer to a future where debilitating car crash injuries and fatalities are drastically reduced ...

If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a car accident caused by the negligent actions of another here in Florida, consider speaking with an experienced attorney to learn more about your rights and your options.

Source: NBC News, "Self-driving cars popular by mid-century: study," Paul Eisenstein, Jan. 6, 2014

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