What it is: Nevada is one of many states crafting laws to anticipate self-driving vehicles.
By the time the Federal government reacts, it’s usually too late. That’s why many states such as Nevada have already crafted legislation to deal with self-driving vehicles. States already can see the future that self-driving technology will be the future and they want to attract self-driving technology companies to test and deploy vehicles in their states to bring in revenue. While self-driving passenger cars may be the ultimate dream, it’s far likely that self-driving vehicles will appear much sooner in other areas.
One simple application of self-driving vehicles is within a limited domain such as a shuttle bus. By traversing a known road, self-driving technology just needs to deal with pedestrians and unexpected hazards like fallen trees or stalled vehicles. Otherwise a limited domain gives a self-driving vehicle a much greater chance of working properly.
Another possibility is self-driving long-distance trucks. Right now, long-distance trucks navigate highways, which are relatively simple with few pedestrians to worry about. The idea is to let self-driving technology handle long hauls across highways and then let human drivers handle the actual driving within streets leading to the ultimate loading or unloading area. Right now truck drivers are limited by the need to sleep, but self-driving technology would let drivers sleep while the truck drives itself across the highway at night where there would be fewer cars. This would allow trucks to drive themselves all night while the human driver sleeps.
Inevitably, self-driving technology will fail and kill someone. That’s why states need to pass legislation now for liability issues so self-driving technology doesn’t get stopped in the courts. Self-driving technology won’t be perfect, but it can be better than human drivers that cause accidents and kill more people than self-driving technology will ever do.
Many people predict that self-driving technology will arrive within ten to twenty years. Expect that to happen in half the time, but in limited environments such as shuttle buses or long-distance trucks. The self-driving world is coming soon and that’s going to uproot the current car industry such as car insurance companies, car dealers, and taxi cabs. Combine self-driving cars with ride-sharing and you get a future where today’s current car market simply won’t exist any more.
The future is coming and it’s clear. All you need to do is set aside your beliefs and see the future clearly without prejudice.