Uber started testing out their autonomous cars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania back in 2016, but considering a recent fatality in Tempe, Arizona, safety concerns are growing. In early March of this year, a pedestrian was hit by one of these self-driving Ubers while crossing the street and suffered fatal injuries.
There was a human driver in the car as a backup at the time, but the Uber was in self-driving mode. This is the first fatal accident caused by a completely autonomous vehicle. Uber has halted its public road testing programs, and the accident is being investigated. Since it occurred, opposition to autonomous cars has increased and the future of self-driving vehicles is unclear.
Concern for Safety
It is still an evolving technology, and at this early stage, not everyone trusts autonomous cars. When an accident like this occurs, it can make people even more uncomfortable. Uber is not the only company that tests self-driving cars. Waymo, originally started by Google, has an early rider program that invites people living in Phoenix, Arizona to test ride their cars. Other competitors in testing mode include Lyft, Apple, Cruise, owned by General Motors, and Tesla. Autonomous delivery trucks are also being tested.
There were two previous Uber accidents in Tempe, but these were due to human error by those driving the other vehicles involved. Several other crashes have occurred, including a Florida accident involving a Tesla Model S in May 2016, where the driver suffered fatal injuries.
It is apparent that even with all this experimental testing underway, the technology still has a long way to go. The companies are racing towards the future with ongoing innovations and continuing work in test cities. They are backed by local governments because these vehicles could be very lucrative and beneficial. Not having to pay drivers will cut down on delivery costs, for example.
For now, there are still sizeable risks. Since the fatal crash in Tempe, this topic is a hotbed of controversy. Experts are strongly recommending slowing down the testing processes. Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are still investigating. Pedestrians face the threat of being hit by several types of vehicles and should always be aware of their surroundings, especially in busy areas. It is predicted that automated cars will not start replacing drivers for at least several years.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Victims of All Types of Car Accidents
Human error is the leading cause of car accidents involving pedestrians, and if you are a victim, you need a dedicated, experienced car accident lawyer. The Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomasso Law are experts in settling all types of car accident lawsuits. With offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, they are ready to listen and help with your case. Call us at 856-414-0010 today or contact us online for a free consultation.