Jun 08 by jason

Should self-driving cars still have steering wheels and brake pedals?

Earlier this week, GM CEO Mary Barra said she believes self-driving vehicles should continue to include steering wheels, brake pedals and accelerators as the technology develops. The state of California has already taken this position, requiring a licensed driver at the helm of all self-driving cars.

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May 23 by jason

Self-driving cars are the future, but major questions remain

Whether you like it or not, self-driving cars are coming. Slowly. Over 30 different companies are working on some form of self-driving vehicle, with the highest profile entry coming from Google, which currently boasts over 1.4 million miles of driverless testing since debuting their first car in 2009. Until recently, self-driving cars have had an…

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May 12 by Ralph L. Jacobson

Further thoughts on liability and compensation issues for ‘self-driving’ cars

In a recent blog article, we suggested that the preferential tool for dealing with insurance, liability and compensation issues arising from the use of driverless cars would be one most in tune with, and least disruptive of, the civil justice system’s current operation. We noted that one way to implement that goal would be an…

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Apr 06 by Ralph L. Jacobson

Baby, you can drive my “self-driving” car: but what if it hits somebody?

photo credit: 2420 via photopin (license) It is clear that the object of romantic interest in the Beatles’ song never anticipated a self-driving (“autonomous”) car; but as that technology gets closer to becoming a commercial reality, minds are starting to boggle about the insurance and tort liability implications. A recent Wall Street Journal article1 opines…

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Jan 12 by jason

The perils of driving in Los Angeles rain

Los Angeles is famous for freaking out when it rains. Recently, Noah Deneau, an electrical engineer from Austin, Texas, graphically illustrated the effect of rain on the rate of traffic crashes in Los Angeles. The results provide a telling snapshot of the perils of driving (and walking and biking) when it’s raining in LA. Deneau…

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Dec 23 by jason

Christmas and New Year’s among most dangerous days to drive

It should come as no surprise that the holidays are one of the most dangerous times to head out on the road. Not only are more people driving–some estimates suggest it could be as much as 50% more–but people are also driving a longer average distance than usual. Although Thanksgiving ranks as the single most dangerous…

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Nov 07 by jason

Signal timing: a critical element of safe, livable streets

For the vast majority of people, signal timing is not an exciting subject. Apart from traffic engineers and a select group of superwonks, few people pay attention to or advocate for better signal timing. Whereas the physical designs (and deficiencies) of streets are tangible, signal timing is less discernible. It’s not uncommon for communities to…

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Jul 21 by jason

What is the cost of traffic crashes?

In discussions of traffic safety, it’s all too common to desensitize ourselves from the striking numbers of roadway crashes that occur: 32,999 fatalities, 3.9 million non-fatal injuries, and 24 million damaged vehicles in 2010. What does all this data mean for our society, economy, and quality of life? In a new report, the National Highway…

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Apr 09 by jason

Is traffic violence sufficiently prosecuted?

A year ago, 17 year old Hanren Chang was hit and killed by a drunk driver while crossing Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. Hanren, a student at Lowell High School, was walking home after celebrating her birthday earlier that night. Her death was one of 21 tragic fatalities by pedestrians in San Francisco in 2013,…

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Sep 25 by jason

3 foot passing bill (finally) signed into law

After multiple vetoes by Gov. Jerry Brown, the “Three Feet for Safety Act,” requiring vehicles to provide a buffer of at least three feet when overtaking a cyclist, has finally been signed into law. Last year, GJEL’s own Bill Dullea testified in front of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee about the importance of legislation…

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