Drivers in Connecticut who are waiting for the day they can hop in a vehicle and not be responsible for driving it may have to wait a little while longer. Self-driving cars are still in the testing stage, and a recent fatal crash has brought up questions regarding technology functionality, safety and liability.
According to CNN, the most recent accident involving an Uber autonomous vehicle killed a 49 year-old woman as she was crossing the street walking her bicycle at night. The SUV had a test driver at the wheel, and it is being investigated whether or not he had the information necessary to prevent the collision. Arizona is a popular state for testing these types of vehicles because of the nice weather. At this time, Uber has stopped its testing of self-driving vehicles in this and other states until the investigation is finished.
Stanford Law discusses who may be held liable for this latest crash. Uber may very well be responsible, especially if investigators find the test driver could have done something. The manufacturer of the vehicle, and/or the software writers, may be liable if it is determined that the sensors and radar technology were not working properly. There is even a chance the victim could be partially to blame if she was not walking in the proper area and the darkness made it impossible to see her. Because the state of Arizona does not have strict testing procedures for self-driving cars, they may even hold some liability. No matter who is found to be at fault, this scenario demonstrates autonomous vehicles are not yet ready to become a normal scene on the road.