What is Self-Driving Car Technology? 

by William Mattar | January 14th, 2022

woman operating a self-driving car

In the U.S., self-driving car technology is still in its beginning stages. Currently, most of the self-driving car technology on our roadways involve partially autonomous vehicles. These vehicles have driving assistance features that help drivers with braking, steering, and other controls. However, more advanced technology closer to full autonomy may be available sooner than you think.  

Continue reading to learn more about self-driving car technology.   

How Partially Autonomous Vehicles Work 

Virtually all of the self-driving car technology on our roadways today require some degree of human intervention. In other words, because these vehicles are not fully autonomous, drivers must be ready to take control under certain circumstances.  

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (USC), automated technology can be categorized by level of autonomy on a scale of 0 to 5. At Level 0, all major systems must be operated by the driver. At Levels 1 through 3, the car may offer certain automated functions but require humans to monitor the environment. Lastly, Level 4 is fully autonomous in some driving scenarios and Level 5 is completely autonomous.   

According to the USC, “most self-driving systems create and maintain an internal map of their surroundings, based on a wide array of sensors.” The system then processes inputs, plots a route, and sends instructions to various functions (such as braking). Software uses a combination of rules, algorithms, predictive modeling, and ‘smart’ object discrimination to navigate traffic.  

Companies Building Self-Driving Cars 

Self-driving cars are being designed, constructed, and tested by major automakers and technology companies around the world. Vehicle manufacturers are competing to create the first fully autonomous cars available to the public. Some companies already have some version of a partially autonomous vehicle, with various driving assist capabilities.  

Tesla is well known for its dedication to making autonomous cars widely available. Some Tesla vehicles are equipped with a driving assistance system call Autopilot, which offers certain self-driving features. Google’s Waymo is another company that is working toward completing a fully autonomous car for various purposes.  

Contact a Self-Driving Car Accident Lawyer  

If you have been injured in a self-driving car accident, contact William Mattar, P.C. today. Cases involving self-driving vehicles can be complicated, but the car accident attorneys at our firm know the law. We can help you obtain maximum compensation. To schedule a free initial consultation, complete our online consultation form or call our offices at (844) 444-4444 to speak to a team member.