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Self-driving cars are coming. Are you ready?

Self-driving cars are coming to an American roadway near you, especially if you live in California, the home to many tech companies and start-ups that have a stake in the autonomous vehicle race.

According to a report by the Financial Times, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles recently granted permits for testing autonomous vehicles to two additional companies, bringing the total up to 27. This is more than twice as many permit-holders compared to a year ago.

In early 2015, only seven companies held permits for testing self-driving vehicles, the Financial Times reported, showing that competition in the auto-tech industry is really heating up. The companies include well-known automakers such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz and also relatively-unknown startup companies like Renovo Motors and PlusAI.

Currently, there are well over 100 autonomous vehicles traveling on California roadways, but they are mainly centralized around San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.

Are Americans ready for self-driving vehicles?

Interestingly, while self-driving cars are already hitting the streets of California, many Americans remain apprehensive.

AAA released survey results earlier this month showing that three out of four Americans are “afraid” to ride in self-driving vehicles, and only one in five Americans surveyed say they would trust an autonomous vehicle to drive itself.

However, 61 percent of Americans indicated that they want semi-autonomous vehicle technology -- such as self-parking technology or lane-keeping assist -- in their next vehicle.

Safety is undoubtedly the biggest concern people have with self-driving vehicles. If we can’t trust other technology in our lives -- such as smartphones, computers and GPS systems -- to function correctly 100 percent of the time, how can we trust an autonomous vehicle when the stakes are much higher?

As a personal injury firm, we also question who would be liable in the case of a serious accident

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