Was Uber at Fault for Killing Pedestrian?
I realize that this is out of the scope of the prudent money blog as far as subject matter. However, Tony Joe and I have been covering the potential challenges with driver-less technology on Fridays on the Special Car Corner Edition of Prudent Money for a long time.
This disturbing video shows the seconds before the Uber car hit the pedestrian crossing the street. The car didn't even appear to slow down. Grant it, the pedestrian was crossing outside of a crosswalk. However, the technology should have enough awareness to detect something approaching its' path. If a driver was paying attention, they would have slowed. The assumption with driver-less technology is that the technology unlike a human is always paying attention.
The telling aspect of this case is the fact that the "back-up" in the backseat was bored out of her mind and not paying attention. On my show, Tony Joe always said that this will be a problem. You can see her reaction at impact. She clearly didn't see the pedestrian coming. This illustrates the problem with hands free technology or driver-less technology. Any human in the car is assuming that the technology has everything under control when results will show that is not the case. For instance, would you really take a nap when driving in a driver less car? Uninformed people in the future will probably do so.
Assuming that the deceased's family sues Uber and Volvo as well as any other players in the case, it will be interesting to see the precedent that courts set in a verdict. The key will be can the technology live up to the standard as set by the courts?