DAVE ROSS

Injury lawyers will be attracted to Google’s driverless cars like flies to fly paper

Mar 31, 2016, 9:55 AM | Updated: Apr 1, 2016, 6:09 am

This May 13, 2015, file photo, shows Google's self-driving car during a demonstration at the Google...

This May 13, 2015, file photo, shows Google's self-driving car during a demonstration at the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. The U.S. auto industry's home state of Michigan is preparing for the advent of self-driving cars by pushing legislation to allow for public sales and operation _ a significant expansion beyond an existing law that sanctions autonomous vehicles for testing only. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

Cars don’t kill people, people kill people. So let’s take the people out of the loop, KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross says.

That’s exactly what Google is trying to do with its driverless cars, which recently received a letter from regulators stating that the software that controls the vehicles can be considered a driver.

You might enjoy: Don’t call it ‘yoga’ if you remove the Hindu from it

The positive, Dave says, is that if Google is the driver, people would no longer be held accountable for crashes.

Former Attorney General Rob McKenna says that may be true, but it depends on what equipment is in a car. If a driver can take control at any point in time, it may complicate the issue. A human who takes control of a vehicle before a crash could be considered at fault.

Google would like to see cars become completely autonomous, as that would help reduce the potential for error. After all, humans are the primary cause of deadly crashes. The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 32,675 people died in crashes in 2014, just a few hundred less than 2013.

If cars did become completely autonomous without any allowed human interaction, all liability would be placed on the software, Dave points out. If that is the case, driverless vehicles would be like fly paper for personal injury lawyers, because the company responsible for the software has deep pockets.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave Ross

supreme court pro-life...

Dave Ross

Ross: Supreme Court rules against pro-life challenge, so what’s next for the Christian Nationalists?

The Supreme Court last week unanimously turned down the pro-life challenge to the FDA’s decision to make Mifepristone widely available.

6 days ago

luxury lane toll...

Dave Ross

Ross: Let the rich pay the exorbitant ‘luxury lane’ toll prices

The new higher tolls for solo drivers in the luxury lane are hitting the $15 maximum every rush hour, all to save exactly three minutes of driving.

13 days ago

trump belltown hellcat...

Dave Ross

Ross: If popularity creates immunity, maybe the ‘Belltown Hellcat Bandit’ should run for president

A lot of completely normal Americans believe Trump should have gone free, and he probably will because of his popularity.

20 days ago

forever chemicals living defensively...

Dave Ross

Ross: Living defensively has its limits when facing ‘forever chemicals’

The trouble is that "living defensively" has its limits – as we heard when 3M lost control of its "forever chemicals."

1 month ago

Image: In this photo illustration, the logos of social media applications Instagram, Facebook, Link...

Dave Ross

Ross: If you hope the government will save kids from social media, think again

Social media firm TikTok must sell itself to a non-Chinese company, or it goes dark in the U.S. But that law is headed straight to court.

1 month ago

kristi noem book...

Dave Ross

Ross: Gov. Kristi Noem’s new book includes alleged meetings with dictators, dead dogs

Did South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as she claims in her new book?

2 months ago

Injury lawyers will be attracted to Google’s driverless cars like flies to fly paper