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The next couple of decades could see the rise of self-driving cars

Technological developments can lead to some pretty big changes in everyday life. It appears that recent developments in automobile technology could, in the not-too-distant future, lead to things being quite different out on roads. Specifically, in just a couple decades from now, it could be fairly common for quite a few cars out on the roads to be fully self-driving, rather than controlled by a human driver.

Self-driving technologies are something that many car companies have been working on. It is thought that we may be starting to see fully automated self-driving cars available on the market by 2025.

Quite a few American drivers are open to the idea of having a fully self-driving car. In a recent survey of U.S. drivers, 44 percent of the surveyed drivers indicated that, if such a vehicle was made available within the next 10 years, they would consider purchasing one.

The consulting firm which conducted this survey, the Boston Consulting Group, predicts that there could be many fully autonomous cars on the roads by 2035. Specifically, the firm estimates that global sales of such vehicles could be at around 12 million automobiles a year by that time.

Changes brought about by technological developments can sometimes raise some new legal issues. One could see many sorts of new legal issues arising in connection to fully self-driving cars coming out onto the market, such as: what safety requirements would be placed on such cars, who would be responsible for actions taken by a self-driving car and what sorts of legal options individuals injured in accidents involving fully automated cars would have. It will be interesting to see, if fully autonomous cars do ultimately end up showing up in big numbers out on America's roads, what sorts of new laws and law changes will come up to address the new legal issues such vehicles would raise.

Source: Reuters, "12 million driverless cars to be on the road by 2035 -study," Paul Lienert, Jan. 8, 2015

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