Uber's Autonomous Fatal Car AccidentAs a weekly Uber customer, I am deeply saddened by the incident that occurred this week in Tempe Arizona. It is known that Uber has been testing out their Autonomous vehicles, in order to further their developments in making traveling easier, and more efficient than ever before. Unfortunately, a woman from Arizona was struck dead by one of these unmanned vehicles, while attempting to cross the street late at night. The entire Uber network requires all testing zones to halt their operations on Autonomous cars until further notice.
Although in the last decade there has been extreme developments when it comes to cars, such as voice control, back up mirrors, sensory alerts and even self-parking cars, I have always been skeptical about the day when self-driving cars would become the “norm”. Having grown up in north jersey, I have been surrounded by a fast pace, no nonsense way of driving, always on the defense. The possibility that someday that I might have to release my control over to the driving capabilities of an autonomous car frightens me. The incident that occurred in Tempe Arizona is only one of the many fears that myself and I am sure others have about these unmanned cars, and I think it is something that our society needs to become more educated about.
Advancements in technology has led Uber to believe that they could safely practice these self-driving vehicles without disturbing the peace of the community they’re in, however after the incident in Tempe Arizona, this proves to be a fallacy. Uber has been continuously in the spotlight lately, especially after their introduction to self-driving cargo trucks, however they only operated on highways, staying far away from local roads. These cargo trucks too have been in the testing stages of their development process and are still accompanied by a trained truck driver, despite their end goal being completely unmanned.
Overall, I believe that Uber will need to be more forthcoming with their plans in regards to their autonomous vehicle developments, to gain the trust and support of the community they’re involved in. Their testing processes need to be essentially flawless, with zero mistakes before an autonomous vehicle should ever hit the road, especially if there is not a single human being in the car ready to fix any potential issues. It is extremely sad to think about how easily this one senseless death in Arizona could have been avoided, had Uber been more cautious about their testing operations. Although the future of self-driving cars seems scary and so far, out of reach, I believe it is something we will begin to see in our lifetime. With the support, of trained technicians, mechanics, and the general public, I believe Uber will do everything in the power to make sure such a terrible accident like this, never occurs again.