A self-driving shuttle that was operating in real-time traffic in downtown Las Vegas was involved in a crash in its very first hour of service. According to news reports, the collision involved the shuttle and a delivery truck, but no injuries were reported. The driver of the delivery truck has been cited by police. City officials issued a statement saying the shuttle was testing when it was grazed by the delivery truck. Since the emergence of automated driving vehicles is quite new, we need to exercise even more caution on the roads as to avoid accident, injury, and subsequent RI car accident lawsuits.
Driverless Technology Put to Test
Officials said the shuttle did exactly what it was supposed to do. Its sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident. However, the delivery truck failed to stop and grazed the front fender of the shuttle. City officials say testing of the shuttle will continue during the 12-month pilot in downtown Las Vegas. The goal is get at least 250,000 people, locals and visitors, to get onboard to try out the driverless technology for themselves.
Passengers may board the shuttle at any of the three stops on Fremont and Carson streets between Las Vegas Boulevard and 8th Street. The shuttle seats eight with seatbelts and has the ability to immediately brake automatically or manually in case anything crosses its path. AAA is sponsoring the shuttle stating that 90 percent of fatal crashes in the United States in 2016 were caused by human error. They are hopeful that self-driving vehicles will promote safety on our roadways and bring down those fatality statistics.
How Safe are Driverless Cars?
While the goal of developing autonomous vehicle technology is safety and reducing the number of road accident deaths and injuries, there is also the question of whether these vehicles are ready for primetime. We’ve seen a number of reports of accidents involving test vehicles. Some are caused by other human drivers and others are caused by malfunctions in the driverless vehicles. For example, Uber self-driving cars in San Francisco nearly missed pedestrians in crosswalks.
We know self-driving cars operate as they gather data from a number of sensors, which give them information about traffic and roadway conditions. We don’t have enough information about how things could potentially go wrong with driverless cars. What if the sensors don’t work as intended? Who is liable for a car accident that is caused by a driverless car? Is the car’s owner, the automaker or the technology developer? How will auto insurance companies cover driverless vehicles? These are all questions that must be answered and issues that must be sorted out before we move forward with the technology of tomorrow.
Why Call d’Oliveira & Associates?
As Rhode Island car accident lawyers, we are all for reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities that are caused by car accidents. However, we do not want human beings to be used in this experiment of driverless vehicles where safety is not guaranteed. Automakers and tech companies must practice due diligence during this testing phase and should not put vehicles on the road until they are confident that they are safe. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Rhode Island car accident, call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online, for a free (no-obligation) case consultation.