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First pedestrian killed by a self-driving car

self-driving car kills pedestrian

Given there are clearly a number of outstanding safety issues and concerns over autonomous and self-drive cars, we have done a number of blogs about them in recent weeks and months.

Although there have been several accidents involving self-drive cars so far, we now have the first incident of a pedestrian killed by a self-drive car as well.

A self-drive Uber SUV that was in autonomous mode reportedly struck a 49-year-old woman earlier this week, fatally injuring her. The incident has once against called in to question the safety of self-drive vehicles that our own government are pushing to be on our roads in the next few years.

The Uber self-drive vehicle was reportedly travelling at around 40mph in autonomous mode with the human operator in the front seat. It appears that the vehicle made no attempt to slow down, meaning the radar technology onboard likely failed to detect the victim who was walking with her bicycle in front of the vehicle.

Governments are facing increasing criticism for allowing companies like Uber to test their self-drive vehicles on the roads. With the numerous possibilities of things that can go wrong, the ongoing concern is that the self-drive vehicles simply don’t have the ability to be fully safe and the ability to stop or take action when something suddenly happens… i.e. they cannot react in the same way as a human can.

The UK government are looking to get self-drive vehicles (including lorries) on our roads in the next few years. It seems clear to us that the technology is far from ready, and we’re worried that self-drive vehicles could be pushed on to British roads prematurely, leading to further incidents and fatalities like we have seen in the past and this week.

A friend of the victim involved in the fatal collision said:

“…this shouldn’t have ever happened… this should be a negligent homicide… and the government should also be held accountable.”

Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Self_driving_Uber_prototype_in_San_Francisco.jpg

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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