Did You Know?:
– Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti offer “lane keeping” features that allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel for periods of time on straight stretches of road.
– This summer, Tesla is promising to equip its Model S sedan to take over highway driving under certain conditions.
– In January, Audi will introduce a vehicle that can pilot itself through traffic jams.
– Next year, Cadillac will offer no-hands highway driving with its “Super Cruise.”
Talk about speedy results! This technology has sped to far ahead in such and short period of time… but meanwhile, Road Rules are still tortoising far behind. IN OTHER WORDS, “Hands Off” in the car may not mean “Hands Off” with the cops.
There are no actual federal or state laws in place specific to this new reality.
Where it is not expressly prohibited, automakers argue that hands-free driving is allowed… and legal experts tend to agree. However, this doesn’t mean drivers can expect smooth sailing. Bryant Walker Smith, a professor of law and engineering at the University of South Carolina, warns, “It’s not just what’s on the books; it’s what’s enforced,” Mr. Smith said. “If a police officer sees you driving down the road with no hands, he could determine that’s reckless and still give you a ticket. Individual officers have a tremendous amount of discretion.”
Currently, Federal laws largely mandate the design of all vehicles to ensure they meet safety standards and that’s about as far as it goes. State laws dictate how the driving is done. That being said, it seems that there’s a bit of a loop hole as it pertains to the driver BEING the car.
The goal is that law and auto makers are able to find a balance where neither safety nor innovation are compromised.
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