How the Law Could Advance Driverless Cars — Questions for Access

There’s been much attention, most recently in a great NYT article on Google’s X, their secret lab, on driverless cars.  The consensus is that the main barriers are political and social, not technical — see Nevada law.

Here’s a thought.  If driverless cars work and are safe, surely it violates the ADA for states to prohibit them for those who can not drive.  (Maybe there is language in federal law that impliedly bans them, but maybe not, after all, it was not a concept at the top of the minds of those who wrote the Federal highway laws — and if Nevada can allow them, presumably they are not bared by Federal law.)

Moreover, once driverless cars are seen to be working for those protected by the ADA, everyone will want them.  I know I will.

More generally, it will not be the first time that protections for minorities have led to progress for all.  We should be thinking about ways that the ADA can be used to remove state barriers to the use of technology for access to justice — e.g. signature issues, physical presence requirements. Other far out ideas, folks?

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About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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