It seems like news reports have been talking about self-driving cars for years now. More and more, we hear about companies like GM and Tesla test-driving prototypes on streets and highways. When will these robot vehicles be for sale at Knoxville-area dealerships?

Not anytime soon, if a news report from WSMV-TV is accurate. The piece quotes an analyst from WalletHub who predicted that self-driving vehicles would not become available until 2050.

However, the analyst noted that modern cars and trucks already have some robotic driver assistance. Things like backup cameras and alarms that let you know when another vehicle is near while changing lanes give drivers some of the elements that autonomous vehicles will have someday. They use technology to go beyond the driver’s senses and skills to prevent an accident.

Why are self-driving cars taking so long?

Still, full automation of the driving process would be extremely complex to do dependably and safely. There would be thousands of computer commands and pieces of sensory input to perform every second. Even once auto companies have developed their self-driving cars, the first ones would likely cost more than almost anyone can afford. With just a few robot vehicles on the road, car accidents caused by human behavior like drunk driving and reckless driving would still be an issue.

Personal injury law isn’t going anywhere

If self-driving cars won’t be the majority of the vehicles on the streets until 30 years from now, people in Knoxville will continue to get hurt and worse in auto accidents. Not only could these injuries affect your ability to work and enjoy life, they could cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills and auto repair costs. Such car accident injuries might become rare someday. Until then, victims will need legal assistance to deal with negligent drivers and their insurance companies.