Rideshare company Uber shocked the world last month when one of the driverless vehicles it is testing hit and killed a pedestrian crossing the road. The accident, which took place in Tempe, Arizona, was the first fatality caused by a self-driving vehicle. The car’s manufacturer, Volvo, wants to make sure consumers know it was not their safety features that failed during the accident – it was a distracted driver and disabled safety features.
Uber’s Self-Driving Program
There are numerous companies looking into self-driving vehicle technology. Uber has been experimenting with self-driving technology in several major U.S. cities. Last month, a woman was walking her bicycle across the road when one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles failed to stop in time, causing a fatal collision. Uber’s self-driving vehicles are equipped with a human driver in the event of an emergency; however, immediately preceding the crash, the driver was distracted and did not see the pedestrian in time.
Standard Safety Features Were Disabled
The vehicle involved in the fatal crash was a Volvo XC90 SUV, which comes with collision-avoidance technology as a standard safety feature. The company responsible for the collision-avoidance technology in Volvo vehicles is making it clear to consumers that their technology was not at fault. Aptiv PLC created and supplies an advanced driver-assistance system that a spokesperson explained “has nothing to do” with Uber’s self-driving technology. In fact, the Volvo’s standard safety features were disabled in the vehicle so Uber could test and utilize its self-driving technology.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident, and it could take several months to determine the cause and whether or not Uber’s self-driving technology was to blame. While there is no guarantee that enabling Volvo’s collision-avoidance technology could have prevented the accident, the accident itself does illustrate the problem with self-driving technologies. Many companies investigating self-driving technologies promise a future without car accidents, but the reality is the technology is far from foolproof.
Preventing Dangerous Car Accidents
Self-driving vehicle technology is a long way from becoming standard in vehicles. This means preventing dangerous car accidents is the responsibility of every driver. If a careless driver injured you or someone you love in a Lubbock car wreck, you deserve to hold them responsible. At Liggett Law Group, we can help you pursue compensation to cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other losses. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.