Technological advancements are increasing at an astounding rate to the point where technology that once seemed to be the stuff of science-fiction novels is becoming a reality. Many people in Nevada may view the advent of autonomous vehicles in such a light, and many companies are looking to design, manufacture, and use autonomous vehicles to maximize their profits. However, safety concerns exist with regards to self-driving vehicles that should not be ignored.
According to one report, in March 2018, a manager at Uber informed Uber executives that backup drivers in their autonomous vehicles were behaving dangerously, that there was a high rate of crashes involving their autonomous vehicles, and that there may be safety issues with the software used in their autonomous vehicles. Five days after that warning was issued, an autonomous Uber vehicle with a backup driver fatally hit a bicyclist. The backup driver was reportedly watching a television show on her smartphone when the crash occurred.
Reportedly, almost every-other day vehicles sustained damage in the month preceding the email to the Uber executives. According to the email, operators of autonomous Uber vehicles who committed multiple infractions were not often fired, and some of them had insufficient training. After the aforementioned crash, Uber stopped testing self-driving vehicles on public streets for a period of time. However, in the June following the crash, Uber resumed testing autonomous vehicles, utilizing new safety practices.
The situation surrounding Uber’s policies and practices regarding their self-driving vehicles is disturbing, especially when the autonomous vehicles cause a car crash. When such collisions occur, injured victims may suffer physically, mentally, and financially. They may wish to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit in hopes of recovering their damages. If it is possible to hold the makers and owners of autonomous vehicles responsible for the accidents their vehicles cause, then injured victims may be able to obtain the financial resources they need to be made whole again.