Many Oklahoma motorists are intrigued by the potential presented by self-driving cars. Autonomous vehicle technology could help to eliminate traffic congestion and reduce serious accidents. A number of companies in the tech and auto industries have embraced the potential of the technology, investing millions to develop self-driving cars. While autonomous technologies are being promoted for their potential to increase safety, some worry that they may not be ready for deployment on public roadways.
In May 2016, public attention was drawn to the potential dangers of autonomous technology when a Tesla driver died after a collision with a large truck. The driver was using a technology called Autopilot at the time and relying on the system to stop before hitting the truck. While the system failed to stop in advance, Tesla warns that Autopilot is only meant for assisting an active driver, not for use in a fully autonomous scenario. Systems currently available for use on the road are meant as driver support and safety technologies only.
Another incident involving an autonomous vehicle took place in March 2018, when an Uber self-driving car under testing in Arizona hit and killed a pedestrian. This is the first fatality of a pedestrian linked to autonomous technology. While Uber suspended its testing program for some time, it launched again in December 2018 in Pittsburgh.
Of course, cars driven by humans continue to have serious crashes on a daily basis, many of them caused by negligent driving. There is no evidence that autonomous cars could be more deadly than human drivers already are. People who have been injured in car accidents due to someone else’s behavior can seek out a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.