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Texas Personal Injury News

Monday, September 17, 2018

Fewer People Want Self-Driving Cars After Uber Accident

Are self-driving vehicles safe?

Many of us have long dreamed of the day when we could stretch out in the backseat while our car seamlessly drives us to our destination. Mass production of fully autonomous cars is just around the corner, but with the technology so near, now public support is waning in the wake of the serious Uber accident. As more self-driving vehicle accidents happen, and the public continues to fear these innovative new vehicles, the quest to release a fully autonomous car to the public could stall.

The Arizona Uber Accident

Self-driving cars are touted as being far safer than traditional automobiles. Statistically, driver error is the number one cause of car accidents nationwide. By eliminating the human element, safety experts believe that self-driving vehicles will greatly reduce the number of car accidents overall. Nonetheless, a few accidents involving self-driving vehicles have led many to question the true safety of these still in testing vehicles.

In March, an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian. The car, a Volvo XC90, was operating in autonomous mode with a human driver present behind the wheel. Reports indicate that the vehicle was traveling at 40 miles per hour when it struck a woman walking her bike across the street. The accident happened at night and it is still unclear as to why the vehicle did not detect the pedestrian and stop in time to prevent the crash. Additionally, the safety driver was distracted at the time of the crash.

While this is the first pedestrian accident linked to an autonomous vehicle, there have been other fatal crashes involving cars in autopilot mode. Autopilot has some features like autonomous vehicles, including lane keep and automatic braking, but requires drivers pay attention and react to dangers. There have been several accidents involving Tesla vehicles in autopilot mode.

Accidents involving autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles serve as a reminder to us all that these technologies are still in the testing phase. Fully autonomous vehicles are not ready as of yet for release to the public. With additional testing and continued development, most automakers remain hopeful that autonomous vehicles will one day surpass traditional cars in safety. The question remains, however, will the public ever fully adopt autonomous vehicles or will they continue to fear this new mode of transportation? If you have been involved in a car accident with an autonomous vehicle, a personal injury attorney can help. Contact Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, PC to schedule a consultation.


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