You’ve probably already heard about an autonomous Uber car running over a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. Yes, people getting hit by cars happens every day, but people getting hit by a self-driving car is a big deal.
Already, government regulators are digging into the forensics of the case. Consumer safety advocates are whipping up a firestorm of criticism about driverless tech, people might start thinking twice about wanting such vehicles in their neighborhood.
Call the response ridiculous if you will, but it’s happening and the industry must deal with the situation. Bloomberg spoke with an anonymous former driverless car engineer, who didn’t seem surprised someone had been killed by a self-driving vehicle.
Granted, a person already died in a Tesla Autopilot crash, but that person was the owner of the car. He was responsible for using the tech properly. This person crossing the street wasn’t using autonomous tech. Yes, they were jaywalking, but just watch how many pedestrians in cities are guilty of that minor offense. If a self-driving car can’t stop and not mow down a jaywalker, casualties could be a huge problem.
Already, Uber has pulled its autonomous fleet from the streets in the Phoenix metro area. It’s in undefined legal territory with this accident. Hyundai once again stated its position on the tech, saying everyone needs to be cautious developing it. Reuters and other media outlets are eagerly listening, because they know which way the wind’s blowing.