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Self-Driving UBER Vehicle Kills Individual In Tempe, Arizona Raising Serious Questions About Safety

Everyone knows that car accidents caused by negligent or distracted drivers can lead to serious injuries and even death. Even when drivers are attentive and paying attention, situations arise that can lead to an injury-causing car accident. The same holds true even when there is no driver and the vehicle is being controlled by artificial intelligence or an automated system.

Such was the case on March 18, 2018 when a self-driving UBER test vehicle slammed into a female pedestrian who was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk. Questionable video of the incident was released showing that the woman appeared to be crossing the street with her bicycle. The video appears to show the woman emerging from the shadows and being barely visible just prior to impact. Video of the interior of the vehicle shows that the human “back-up” driver was not paying attention and was looking down.

In response to the death, UBER halted its self-driving vehicle tests on public roads throughout Arizona and other Cities in which it was conducting them. Individuals in support of self-driving vehicles claim that they are safer than human-operated automobiles and that the statistics support this. Individuals on the other side, argue that self-driving vehicles are unproven, uncertain and that this accident is just an example of the chaos to come. What neither side argues is that self-driving vehicles are here and that the testing of these vehicles is well under way.

Whether you like it or not, self-driving vehicles are the future. The same way that UBER and Lyft largely made traditional taxi companies obsolete, self-driving vehicles will eventually do the same for traditional drivers. Google via its self-driving vehicle company, Waymo, and UBER are in a race to deliver this technology. Likewise, TESLA and other car manufacturers are equally introducing assisted and hands free driving.

However, with such advancements come serious questions regarding safety. Will the technology ever reach the point to where it is superior or safer than human judgement? Will the artificial intelligence in self-driving vehicles ever reach the point where it can anticipate a dangerous situation?  For example, will the artificial intelligence be able to recognize young children playing on a sidewalk and recognize to slow down as the potential for a child to run into the street exists? Can these artificial systems process the millions of scenarios that a human mind is able to register and recognize?

What is certain, is that whether or not it is a human driven vehicle or an automated self-driving vehicle, serious injury accidents will still occur. Our Scottsdale injury lawyers are dedicated to helping individuals injured in car accidents in Scottsdale and the greater Phoenix area. Contact one of our Scottsdale injury attorneys today for a free consultation.

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