Several central Pennsylvania counties have been cleared to host automated vehicle testing. PennDOT has given the green light for this testing and established safety rules that must be followed in the process.

The counties approved to host the testing are Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster and York. Lancaster County, in particular, may encounter some special challenges during the testing phase, like navigating around Amish buggies on the road.

It's not clear when the testing will begin, but we can expect to see more and more self-driving cars out and about on Pennsylvania roads in the near future.

Automated or self-driving vehicles (also known as SDVs) have been undergoing testing across the nation for several years now.

As they become more widely accepted, SDVs will undoubtedly impact our roadways and the auto industry in many ways. The areas of auto insurance and accident litigation will especially change and evolve as new technology emerges. It is likely, for example, that premiums for insurance policies that cover SDVs will be higher than those of traditional vehicles.

Accident liability and analysis of which driver's negligence was the cause of a collision will also become an issue. Pennsylvania Lawyer Magazine notes, "it is a fair prediction that the rise of SDVs will drastically reduce the number of car accidents, which are almost always a result of human error or negligence." However, a driver could still be found negligent in failing to retake control of a self-driving vehicle to avoid a potential crash. Some people anticipate that another big change surrounding auto accident lawsuits and SDVs will be a greater emphasis on products liability claims.

Although automated vehicle testing is on the rise, the extent and impact of changes remains to be seen until SDVs become fully mainstream.

Source: local21news.com and Pennsylvania Lawyer Magazine