Uber has become an extremely popular ride-sharing service, but there are concerns about safety. For example, CNET cautioned riders that they give up many of their rights when they agree to Uber’s terms and conditions before taking a ride, while 9 News warned that many Uber cars have unrepaired defects. Now, Streets Blog indicates there is a new concern on the horizon for road-users: Uber’s self-driving cars are putting pedestrians and bicycle riders at risk.
Uber is testing self-driving vehicles and, if tests are successful and self-driving cars become more widely accepted, the company could soon phase out human drivers entirely. Unfortunately, if these self-driving cars start to populate the roads, tricky questions could be raised about who is responsible when the cars collide with motorists, pedestrians, and bike riders.
An Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer can provide assistance in determining what options a victim has when hurt by an Uber car, so call Glass & Robson as soon as possible if you’re in a crash.
Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Could Increase Risks of Atlanta Pedestrian & Bike Accidents
Streets Blog explained why Uber’s self-driving cars are creating new risks for pedestrians and bike riders. According to the blog, a test of Uber’s self-driving vehicles resulted in:
Uber cars running a red light in front of a pedestrian.
Uber cars making dangerous right turns which cut across bicycle lanes.
In response to news of the observed problems, Uber indicated that it is currently requiring drivers to disengage the vehicles from their self-driving mode in any situation where the car is approaching a street with bike lanes.
This is a possible solution to the risk the self-driving car presents to pedestrians only if there is actually a backup human driver in the car. Uber currently does have backup drivers in all of the self-driving cars that are being tested. However, the company’s goal is obviously to phase out the use of human drivers as quickly as possible.
Streets Blog is concerned that Uber is so eager to get self-driving cars out onto the roads to cut its labor costs that the company may be rushing the process and not living up to its safety obligations. Uber, for example, recently conducted its testing of self-driving cars without following the established protocol in the state where the testing took place, including obtaining a permit as 20 manufacturers did before when testing their own self-driving car technology. Uber claimed it did not need permits since it had human backup drivers, but Streets Blog indicated its justification was a convoluted explanation.
The fact that the company was willing to cut corners on getting approvals for testing could be a bad sign going forward if Uber also jumps the gun with putting self-driving cars into cities without first making sure the technology does not present a risk to bicyclists or pedestrians. If Uber does begin to widely use self-driving cars before they are safe, the company could potentially be held accountable for the consequences by victims who are hurt in crashes. An attorney can assist victims in determining what options are available for compensation after a pedestrian or bicycle accident.
Glass & Robson provides legal representation to injured clients in Atlanta, GA and surrounding areas. Call 404-751-4702 or contact us online today to talk with an Atlanta injury lawyer who can fight for your right to compensation if you were harmed.