Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Search for legal issues
For help near (city, ZIP code or county)
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location

Self-Driving Car Law: No Need for Human Driver in Nevada

Article Placeholder Image
By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on June 29, 2011 6:50 AM

In a move to keep up with the predicted wave of the future, Nevada became the first state in the country on Monday to pass a self-driving car law.

In other words, it will soon be legal in Nevada to kick back, relax and text while driving.

As long as your car is doing the driving for you.

As always, blame Google.

Self-driving, or driverless, cars operate with radar, lasers and GPS, along with a bit of artificial intelligence, according to the Huffington Post. To date, both Google and Volkswagen have been the primary developers, but the search giant has been the technology's primary backer.

In fact, Nevada's self-driving car law, which directs the Department of Motor Vehicles to "adopt regulations authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles on highways," is also a Google creation.

The company has spent considerable time and money lobbying Nevada legislators on the issue, reports The New York Times.

The next thing you know, Google will be trying to take over our energy production.

Oh wait. They already are.

On a slightly more serious note, this self-driving car law leads to a lot of legal questions.

If your self-driving car gets in an accident, are you responsible? Or is the car responsible, because it was driving?

How do you hold a car responsible for an accident? Are accidents automatically caused by product defects or negligence on behalf of the manufacturer?

What if the car is speeding? Speeding tickets are tied to the driver, unlike parking tickets, which are tied to the car. Are you the driver if you're not actually driving the car?

This can go on, and on, and on, but clearly, you get the point: the self-driving car law is probably going to cause more problems than it's worth.

Related Resources:

Find a Lawyer

More Options