Self-driving vehicles are a reality of the future. Many companies and automakers are working to be the first to develop an autonomous vehicle that is available to consumers on a widespread basis. Other companies, such as Uber, are working to develop self-driving cars for their own company advantage, such as using them for rideshare vehicles.
Recently, one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles that was in the testing phase was involved in a crash with a pedestrian. This brought up many questions about how the company was going to address specific safety concerns with these vehicles. You may be one who shares concerns regarding the safety and necessity of these types of vehicles on Illinois roads, and you may wonder how companies making self-driving cars can ensure that human lives will not be at an unnecessary risk.
Specific concerns from this accident
This accident took place last year, and it resulted in the death of a pedestrian who walked across the path of the car. Since that time, experts have been carefully reviewing all documentation and evidence from the incident. United States safety investigators found that the self-driving car had not received any programming to deal with jaywalkers and pedestrians who were not in a crosswalk.
The tragic incident that brought a significant amount of negative publicity to Uber involved a woman who was walking her bicycle across the street at night. In order to be truly safe, autonomous vehicles should be able to react and adjust to unpredictable human behavior.
What is the answer?
When the pedestrian stepped into the street, the car initially recognized her as another vehicle. It tried unsuccessfully to figure out what was in the road ahead of it. Its inability to brake or adjust speed properly was a grave concern for safety investigators. Uber said that it greatly values the findings of the inspectors and is working diligently to improve safety in the self-driving vehicles it’s testing.
Since then, Uber has made several necessary changes to its self-driving systems. New safety measures are now included, and the vehicles now have software that allows them to recognize jaywalkers, pedestrians and other people outside the vehicles.
What it means for you
Like many, you may be apprehensive about the widespread use of these types of vehicles. While they may go through extensive testing and have various types of safety technology, that does not mean that accidents will not happen. If you find yourself the victim of an accident caused by a self-driving car or just an inattentive driver, you have rights. You could have a rightful claim to financial compensation through a civil lawsuit.