The question of self-driving cars coming to a highway, city street or country road near you is more “when” than “if.”
Lyft drivers in Las Vegas may not know it when they hail a car, but a small portion of the fleet of ride sharing vehicles wandering Sin City actually have no one behind the wheel. Meanwhile, unmanned podlike cars in Scottsdale, Ariz. are already delivering groceries to humans throughout the area.
As the autonomous life becomes more and more of a reality, regulators are taking a hard look at how to go driverless in the most safe and efficient way.
That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking its time considering whether to approve “no control” technology that would put self-driving cars on the road without a steering wheel. NHTSA recently asked the public to weigh in on a petition from General Motors that would allow the automaker to deploy its driverless Zero-Emission Autonomous Vehicle, a car that allows for no human control.
“Because this is an important case of first impression and because other petitions for the exemption of other vehicles with [Automate Driving System] are expected in the coming years,” NHTSA wants to “inform the public about the novel and important issues presented by this petition and to elicit public feedback to aid the agency in determining how to address and resolve those issues,” the agency said in a notice seeking public comment. “The feedback will also aid the agency, if it partially or fully grants an exemption, in determining how to promote, through the setting of terms and monitoring GM’s adherence to them, the safe operation of GM’s ZEAVs.”
Not only do the vehicles operate without a steering wheel, but they also don’t have brake and acceleration pedals or gear shifts. GM has previously said it will be ready to put the cars on the road this year, if NHTSA approves the petition.
California Lemon Law Protects Owners of Cars With or Without Drivers
Whether you can see yourself being chauffeured around by a car with no steering wheel or prefer to do your own driving, car buyers and lessors have the right to have a vehicle that works properly. That’s why California law protects buyers and lessors who get stuck with a defective car, or what’s often called a “lemon.”
The California lemon law requires carmakers to attempt certain repairs on automobiles while they’re under warranty. If those repair efforts aren’t successful, the carmaker has to take it back and reimburse the owner for the purchase price and other related costs. The manufacturer can also offer the owner the option of a replacement car.
Talk With an Experienced California Lemon Law Attorney
The California Lemon Law attorneys at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.