While our morbid curiosity is certainly going to be satisfied with the video that’s shown below, because the topic has been discussed at length it seems only fair that we discuss and show the events that took place when an Uber killed a pedestrian while driving. This Uber was equipped with self-driving technology and was legally on the roads of Tempe, AZ performing testing that’s needed in order to collect data to help with the advancements of the self-driving technology that might be part of the future of the driving.
During the video, we see several disturbing images and if you’re weak of heart or don’t want to see a potentially graphic scene, don’t watch the video below, but if you do have the stomach for it and the curiosity to see what happened during this accident. The video shows the operator of the vehicle, who has been identified, repeatedly glancing down while the vehicle is in self-driving modes. The vehicle as driving at 45 mph, which you can imagine was horrific for the pedestrian who was hit when crossing the road from the opposite lane toward the sidewalk.
What does this mean for self-driving technology?
The major issue with the graphic images in this video is the fact that someone lost their life. What’s worse is the fact that if the driver was busy watching his phone or another electronic device, he’s responsible for the accident and could be held liable. Uber followed the low and ensured there was a driver positioned in the car that needed to be paying attention to the road in order to make sure no one could get hurt if the self-driving technology failed while the vehicle was driving on the road.
Unfortunately, this accident is likely to cause a setback in the self-driving technology development and might cause Arizona to change some of the laws of the state that allow for stricter regulations regarding testing this technology. Based on the video, taking emotion out of what took place, it appears the precautions needed were in place and the driver who was supposed to take over when the vehicle didn’t operate properly should have done so in order to avoid this accident which eventually cost a person their life, but as we know from experience, this will likely causeless trust in the market for self-driving vehicles.
Tesla is no stranger to accidents using technology that feels like it can be self-driving capable. There have been some accidents in the past that were the cause of people trusting the Auto Pilot system of Tesla which was advertised as a semi-autonomous technology. With this recent accident, it seems we might be stuck in a semi-autonomous world of technology for many years. Imagine what could happen when self-driving vehicles are able to drive at much higher speeds; there could have been more than one fatality in a case where a vehicle is traveling much faster.