It seems Uber’s self-driving technology was better suited to the East Coast Pittsburgh downtown streets, rather than San Francisco’s hilly West Coast streets. Uber, despite substantial developments in autonomous car technology, is experiencing significant technical and legal hurdles in California. This post will go over those hurdles and what it could mean for anyone who is injured in an accident with a self-driven car.
The problems for Uber are two-fold: legal and technical. The legal issues concern Uber’s permits, or lack thereof. California requires all self-driven cars and companies to register and receive permits. Uber refuses to comply with California regulations, despite repeated warnings that they would be subject to unspecified legal actions.
The technical issues involve Uber’s ability to adapt to San Francisco. Uber cars in Pittsburgh had the benefit of an entirely mapped piece of downtown. In San Francisco, the Uber cars seem to be having trouble comply with traffic laws. Numerous videos have surfaced purporting to capture self-driven Uber cars running red lights and violating other traffic laws.
By far, the biggest concern among safety advocates is cars’ inability to adapt to bike lanes. Uber cars executed “right hook turns” when taking a right turn over a bike lane. Cars are required, not to take a direct right turn, but to merge into the bike lane before turning right. The purpose is to ensure that cyclists and cars can share the road.
Computers will continue to make mistakes until humans can design a computer and algorithm that identifies flaws and corrects them. Until that time is reached, companies will continue to grapple with uncertainty and liability however that does not mean that you are not entitled to fair compensation for your personal injury. Car accidents, especially ones that result in bodily injury, are never as simple as they seem. An attorney can parse through the numerous facts and help you craft a strategy to obtain your fair compensation.
Source: The Guardian, “Uber admits to self-driving car 'problem' in bike lanes as safety concerns mount,” Sam Levin, December 19, 2016