If you have been following the progress of the development of self-driving cars, you may well have wondered just how safe these vehicles really are or will be. If so, you are not alone as many of your fellow Connecticut residents are asking much the same question. In fact, auto makers, technology companies and legislators are also asking this question.

According to Recode, a technology industry news site, manufacturers and developers of self-driving vehicle technology met with federal lawmakers to discuss exactly how to manage and oversee the safety of autonomous vehicles. One of the issues raised was the fact that currently there are no established safety standards at a federal level for self-driving vehicles at all.

This exposes consumers and manufacturers to some potential risks. It also leaves the door open for states to develop their own standards. The problem with this approach is that each state may develop a different set of criteria, making it all but impossible for auto manufacturers to produce vehicles to meet all of the various standards out there. As such, there is a request that the federal government actively pursue a set of standards but with one caution – that such standards are focused on the ultimate safety required or sought, not the actual technology. For example, developers do not want to be required to use specific technology but to ensure that the technology they use results in a certain level of safety. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Connecticut residents an overview of some of the issues being discussed in the emerging world of autonomous vehicle safety.