A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is likely to give even the most ardent supporters of self driving cars a heightened level of concern. According to Raj Rajkumar, a Carnegie Mellon researcher and the leader of the autonomous vehicle research the car involved in the fatal accident in Arizona had systems that were “clearly at fault”, had problems on the technical side, had systems they had not adequately tested and they had problems in training the human operators. He went on to say while the automated system could handle the regular braking it lacked emergency braking abilities.
In this instance Uber relied on a human back-up to take over if needed. The catch is the system is not designed to alert the operator or in other words the system saw the pedestrian and had no way to slam on the brakes or even alert the driver. Uber’s reason for barring the system from hitting the brakes is doing so makes the vehicles performance erratic. This means someone died in order to eliminate erratic performance.
Uber dash cam video shows the back-up driver looking down until a split-second before the impact. The back-up driver told the NTSB she was monitoring the self driving interface and not using her cell phone. The report from the NHTSA says someone at Uber turned off the Volvo installed collision avoidance system with automatic braking and driver alert. This is one of the best systems of its type available and might have lead to a better outcome. Uber had 2 fail safes that could have prevented this fatal accident; Uber proactively disabled one and the other one wasn’t paying attention. Is this another form of distracted driving?
As a result of this crash and fatality Uber has ceased all robot-vehicle testing in Arizona and will resume its self driving taxi service in Pittsburgh this Summer. Self driving cars will become a reality very soon and many of the laws needed to govern these vehicles are just now being written.
We represent people who are injured because of the careless and reckless acts of others. At the end of the day your case can only be settled one time and you need to know all of the facts beforehand. The reason that insurance companies have paid our clients in excess of $130,000,000.00 is that we get the facts and are not intimidated at the prospect of going to trial when they refuse to follow the law. We help with serious issues that require serious representation. We are the Law Offices of Guenard & Bozarth. We have over 80 years of experience in our plaintiff’s only law firm. Call GB Legal 24/7/365 at 888-809-1075 or visit www.gblegal.com We Can Help!