It was not long ago that news headlines were flooded with reports of an accident where a self-driving Uber vehicle struck and killed a woman crossing the street. The vehicle had a backup safety driver but was unable to come to a stop before striking the woman, who was walking her bicycle across the street at night.
Since then, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been investigating the crash as many speculate on the future of autonomous vehicles. As it turns out, the NTSB discovered that the autonomous Uber SUV spotted the woman almost six seconds before colliding with her, but did not come to an emergency stop because the system for that had been disabled.
Self-Driving Technology Still Needs Work
The system in the autonomous vehicle is meant to automatically apply the brakes in a potentially dangerous situation. The reason the emergency braking was disabled was because the Uber car was under computer control. This reduces the chance for erratic vehicle behavior (like reacting to overpasses or street signs).
Beyond the disabling of the emergency braking system, the vehicle is not designed to alert the driver of any danger. This is part of the reason why the backup driver was unable to intervene in time.
Unfortunately, these circumstances caused the death of a woman. It most certainly points to the fact that self-driving technology is still a long way from being successful.
In addition, fault for this specific incident has yet to be determined. Is the manufacturer of the vehicle responsible for the incident?
Is it Uber that shoulders the burden? Or is it the backup driver who should be held accountable for the wrongful death?
These questions are similar to those asked following any other motor vehicle accident you may have experienced. And the best way to get the right answers is for you to consult an experienced attorney.
Pittsburgh Attorneys Will Fight for Your Rights
Self-driving vehicle or not, any party that played a role in causing you injury or harm in an accident should be held responsible for their actions. If you or a loved one are experiencing similar circumstances, you need the help of attorney Mark A. Smith.
The Pittsburgh personal injury attorney handles all types of motor vehicle accidents, from cars and motorcycles to trucks and bicycles. He will make sure you are properly compensated for any and all losses suffered. With a strong reputation of success with his clients across Pennsylvania, there is no better place to turn.
Fill out the online contact form to begin discussing your case today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.