Ready or not, self-driving cars are appearing on the streets of America in greater numbers by the day. An unknown amount of them are going to start self-cruising the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania soon as part of a public experiment run by Uber. The popular ride-sharing company that allows patrons to hail rides using their smartphones believes that a fully autonomous fleet is the future of the company, but that goal will not be a reality for years or decades. For now, the company is relying on small-scale testing such as what is going on in Pittsburgh to see how it might work in other cities in the U.S.
Concerns Regarding Self-Driving Ubers
On the surface, the first concern regarding the automated Uber drivers is what is going to happen to all of those jobs. More than half a million people in the United States rely on Uber for their main source of income. If self-driving cars become the norm, or the only option, it could spell an economic downturn for many.
However, the biggest concern that effects virtually everyone is whether or not self-driving cars will ever be truly safe. The technology is incredibly young and the errors in the system are not well-understood. Sometimes a bug causes the car stay a little too far to the left of the lane, and other times it is far worse, such as when a Florida man lost his life earlier this year due to a crash that occurred while his Tesla was on autopilot.
Uber has tried to quell immediately worried by stating that there will be no “human-less” cars in Pittsburgh during its experiment, which will last an undisclosed amount of time. Although the automobiles will be self-driving, an Uber staff member will remain in the vehicle and in the driver seat. The idea is that if something goes wrong, the driver will be able to react quickly enough to prevent an accident. The idea sounds fine on paper but only in practice will the people of Pittsburgh know if it was a smart notion or not.
For more information about Uber’s plan in Pittsburgh, check out this NPR article. If you need legal assistance after you have been struck by a self-driving vehicle, or if you were injured in any other sort of car accident, the Stuart personal injury attorneys at Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC can help you. Call 866-675-4427 for more information.