Self-driving vehicles have taken hold in the imagination of people in Illinois, but they do have some potential drawbacks. As the recent fatal accident involving an Uber autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian illustrates, the technology does have some limitations.
According to a computer science professor at the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University, one potential issue in the design of self-driving vehicles is that they are being developed to mimic human-like driving. Humans are training the vehicles on how to drive, and humans are fallible. This means that some self-driving cars may be susceptible to making similar errors to human drivers.
In the Arizona accident between an Uber vehicle and a pedestrian, the Uber vehicle struck a pedestrian who was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk in the dark. The vehicle failed to notice the woman in the darkened area. When she stepped out into the illuminated portion of the street, it was too late for the vehicle to be able to stop. While a human driver would likely have had the same accident, the professor believes that training self-driving technology to drive for safety instead of the way humans drive could help to prevent similar incidents from happening. For example, autonomous vehicles could be taught to slow down whenever they approach darkened areas that might contain people.
When people suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents that are caused by the negligent actions of others, they might benefit from consulting with experienced personal injury lawyers. Whether the other vehicle was an autonomous car or was operated by a human driver, the attorney may be able to identify all of the potentially liable parties so that his or her client might recover the maximum compensation. This may help the injured victim receive fair compensation for the losses that resulted from the accident.