There are some people who would love nothing more than to get in their car, tell the car where they want to go either by voice or by entering the destination on a touch screen and then sit back and relax as the car takes them to their destination. On the other hand, there are people who say they would never trust their lives to an auto-driving vehicle. There are still others who say they love driving too much to ever want an autonomous car. However, this last group of people is probably not driving in Boston traffic on a regular basis.
Whether or not people are ready for self-driving cars, some versions are already on the roads and will likely be much more prevalent in the not too distant future. The first thing to understand, however, is that some of the cars currently on the road, such as the ones made by Tesla, are not truly autonomous vehicles. These vehicles are actually using an advanced form of cruise control that can shift lanes and brake and accelerate to avoid other cars, but the driver is still supposed to be paying attention.
Meanwhile, some major tech firms are making truly autonomous vehicles that allow you to simply enter the destination and let the car do all the work. According to a recent news article from the Boston Herald, the ride sharing company, Uber, is working to develop its own system for self-driving cars that could be used in place of human drivers. Given all of the lawsuits and unfavorable court rulings with respect to whether drives are contractors or employees, it is not hard to imagine why this company would be tempted to have their cars’ drivers drive passengers around town without having to pay any drivers.
While this may sound like a good business model for the company, the technology is not where it needs to be yet. Recently, a self-driving Uber was involved in a crash, and the police were not sure what to do. They did not know whether the car was running itself fully, or if the human driver behind the wheel was controlling the car at time of the crash.
Based upon a recent announcement, Uber has to put the testing of self-driving cars on hold as engineers with the company try to figure out if there are any changes that need to be made to make the cars safer. This car rolled over and was left in its side, though the human driver of the other car was actually cited for the accident. However, another firm working on self-driving car technology that operates out of South Boston has said that it uses different software than Uber and has no plans to stop testing their system in vehicles in the city.
Our Boston car accident lawyers will continue to observe this situation as things develop, because it is likely that even more serious car accidents involving self-driving cars will be occurring in the future as more and more of these vehicles make their way onto the roads of the Commonwealth.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
NuTonmv to keep testing after driverless Uber Crash, March 22, 2017,, By Jack Encarnacao, Boston Herald
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