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Fallback drivers for self-driving cars must stay alert

Drivers in California who are looking into self-driving cars may be interested to learn more about safety concerns being raised about the vehicles and artificial intelligence. Though self-driving cars rely on a human driver as a backup, they still aren’t believed to be as safe as human-manned vehicles.

Self-driving cars must drive for hours as they are tested and learn to navigate a particular city. These drivers require an in-vehicle fallback test driver, or IVFTD. The IVFTD is responsible for taking over the controls of a self-driving car should the vehicle’s mechanical system fail to avoid a possible collision. This means that the IVFTD must be constantly alert and attentive to other vehicles and road conditions for hours at a time, being ready to take over the vehicle’s controls at a moment’s notice should the need arise. Should they become bored, motor vehicle accidents may occur.

If the IVFTD intervenes too soon, vehicle manufacturers may claim that they didn’t allow the self-driving vehicle to do its job and learn how to navigate properly. It may be difficult for those in this job position to prove that they avoided an accident with their actions. Additionally, those who act in the IVFTD position must constantly adjust the car’s coding so that it learns to avoid pedestrians, navigate roadwork and respond readily to emergency vehicles.

Many people who are interested in self-driving vehicles falsely believe that they will be able to do other things, such as work or leisure activities, while the vehicle drives them to their destination. Backup drivers must be aware of the limitations of a self-driving vehicle. Should an accident occur, the driver or the vehicle manufacturer may be liable for damages. A lawyer may be able to file a civil suit on behalf of an individual injured in a car accident with a self-driving vehicle to help the victim collect medical damages.

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