The advent of self-driving cars has left some consumers eager and others leery. The machines could revolutionize the way that Americans commute. But a recent fatal accident caused by a self-driving car that was being used as an Uber has proven a serious roadblock. Many motorists, scientists and legislators are now more skeptical of the technology than ever.
The accident took place in Arizona, one of the 10 cities that was selected as "proving ground" of sorts for self-driving automobiles. Texas is also one of these states. So, what will the future of self-driving cars in Texas look like?
Self-driving cars in Texas
Back in 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation named Texas a "proving ground" for automated vehicles. So far, though, the technology is not widespread throughout the state. The only city in which the technology is being used publicly is Arlington. If this soft-run of sorts goes well, then the cars will go public in four other Lone Star cities. But it's not just cars that have been made with self-driving capabilities: Shuttles, buses and trucks also have the technology and will soon be on the roads.
Toyota, whose North American headquarters makes its home in Plano, has joined with Pizza Hut to test self-driving pizza delivery cars as soon as 2020. However, the car company temporarily halted its autonomous vehicle testing in light of the recent tragedy.
Complicated legal issues
Uber's crash raised some complicated legal issues that motorists, insurers, lawmakers and auto manufacturers will have to face. There are many questions regarding liability. In a crash involving a self-driving car, would the fault lie with the driver, or the auto manufacturer? The answers remain to be seen: Self-driving cars are so new that these issues are only now being discussed.