While the following story didn’t happen here in Indianapolis, it still carries some significant weight for the entire country. It revolves around the ongoing saga of self-driving cars, and what the future holds for these tremendous, but problematic, vehicles.
One big piece of news from yesterday was that the U.S. House of Representatives accelerated the move towards self-driving cars by allowing automakers to release more of these vehicles to the public without the autonomous vehicles meeting certain safety standards. That may sound dangerous, but it would seem the point is to experiment and accelerate the production of self-driving cars, which promise to dramatically cut back on preventable, human-caused car accidents.
But alongside this piece of news is a report that numerous Uber self-driving vehicles have run red lights in San Francisco, and that one was involved in a minor accident in that city recently. The wreck was a rear-end accident that saw another vehicle crash into the autonomous car after the driver had turned off the self-driving mode to allow some pedestrians through.
There is also video in our source article showing a self-driving car just casually driving straight through a red light. Obviously there are some serious issues with the Uber self-driving fleet, but this could be a wide-spread problem with self-driving cars in general – not just Uber. In any case, more problems will undoubtedly show up as these vehicles become more popular and more widely available. Figuring out legal liability will be a new issue that needs to be addressed in the world or personal injury law.
Source: San Francisco Business Times, “Uber’s self-driving vehicle has first California car crash in San Francisco,” Riley McDermid, Aug. 30, 2017