Thursday, March 22, 2018

So, is Uber at fault for the self driving car accident?

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Somebody walked out in front of a self-driving car and was hit and killed.

It's the first death that occurred due to an accident involving a self-driving car in fully autonomous mode.

I wasn't able to directly link to the video, but the BBC has it here.

The Tempe police have already said that Uber is unlikely to be found at fault in the incident - and their grounds are that a human driver would have been unable to avoid the accident.

Obviously, we want self-driving cars to do better, and one thing Uber does need to address is that the car was going 40 in a 35 zone. On the other hand, the victim was jaywalking, and came out of nowhere.

So, is this a major setback for autonomous cars?

Yes and no. The fact is that self-driving cars are already far safer than human drivers - but the fact also is that Uber should be looking into why the car simply did not see the pedestrian.

A setback, yes, but a small one. Uber needs to see if something went wrong or if this was the best the technology could do at present - and how it can be improved.