Uber Pedestrian FatalityApril 10, 2018
A recent fatal pedestrian accident has confirmed the fears that many consumers, lawmakers, and others have had about driverless cars, which is that it was just a matter of time before someone was fatally injured by one of these vehicles.
The accident occurred when an Uber driverless car hit a 49-year-old pedestrian while she was walking her bicycle outside of a crosswalk in Tempe, Arizona. This is the first known fatality involving a driverless car, and Uber has since removed all of its self-driving cars from the roads in areas where they were being tested.
According to Tempe police, the vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time of the wreck, and the Uber driver was behind the wheel. At this point, it is unclear who was at fault, but in a news conference they revealed that the car was traveling at 40-mph in a 35-mph zone, and there were no signs that the car was slowing down. They also shared that the Uber driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
What This Means for the Auto Industry
For years, mainstream car manufacturers have been incorporating various semi-autonomous systems in their vehicles, including automatic cruise control, accident avoidance technology, and lane departure notifications. While fully-autonomous vehicles are still very much in the testing phase, over 50 companies in California alone are licensed to test self-driving vehicles, provided there is a human operator in the vehicle.
According to a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Material Science at Duke University, this technology has the potential to save lives. But if companies move too fast, any problems can cause major setbacks in the development process. In an address to Congress, the professor said that it is safe to assume that there will be fatalities in the autonomous vehicle industry, but people must ask themselves what can be done to minimize those deaths.
The companies that manufacture self-driving vehicles argue that the only way to ensure that the vehicles are safe is through rigorous testing in real-life situations. However, safety officials are concerned about the risks associated with testing these vehicles on public roads before they have been proven to be safe.
Research shows that approximately 94 percent of all car accidents are caused by human error. Autonomous vehicle manufacturers say that human error is virtually eliminated with driverless-car systems. However, the technology is not yet able to effectively react to humans, specifically pedestrians, because they are unpredictable.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Self Driving Car Accidents
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We will conduct a thorough investigation of the events leading up to the accident, and determine who is responsible for your injuries. We will not stop fighting for you until we have secured the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To set up a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.