In Arizona, USA, one of Uber’s self-driving cars crashed, tipping over to its side. Which does not bode well for self-driving cars at all. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries in the incident.
Shortly after the accident, Uber has pulled all their self-driving vehicles off the roads, in Arizona, Pittsburg and San Francisco, the only 3 locations where Uber operated them. According to preliminary investigations, the crash happened after the other vehicle “failed to yield” while making a left turn.
For those without driving licenses, that means the other driver failed to stop for oncoming traffic when making a turn, causing a collision.
Uber’s self-driving cars always have a human driver sitting behind the wheel who can take over at any time. It was uncertain if the driver within the self-driving car had control over the vehicle at the time of the accident.
This was, of course, not an isolated incident, as there was a fatal accident earlier in 2016 in Florida involving a self-driving Tesla. In that particular accident, there was no fault found in the autopilot system, and it was believed the driver could have averted the accident if he had been paying more attention.
In Singapore last year, there was also an accident involving what was one of the world’s first self-driving taxis. However, as it was a trial, the car was travelling at a slow speed with 2 engineers on board, so there were no casualties.
In light of all these accidents during on-the-road tests, it might still be a while before self-driving cars really take off for consumer use. However, considering not every single self-driving car immediately crashed, and collisions only happened largely due to human error, there seems to be quite some potential.
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