By David Peel
Uber Is the leading ridesharing company. “Uber” has even become a verb, Such as, “when I am in Dallas I won’t rent a car I will just Uber to the meeting.”
The biggest expense and struggle that any ridesharing or taxi company has is not providing cars, it is providing the drivers. Uber has one dreamed of a day when the car comes to pick you up in the car and delivers you with no driver involved. And this is not science fiction. This is in what may have become the final stages until just the other day.
Uber is still testing their vehicles and even has a safety driver that is supposed to be able to take over in case the car need some help. But for reasons that yet seem unexplained, an Uber car in autonomous mode ran down a woman walking her bike across a dark street. It certainly wasn’t a crosswalk, However, the sensing equipment on the car should have seen her and at least begun to put on the brakes even if it couldn’t stop. And apparently there is no evidence of the car even putting on the brakes. And the safety driver was no help because she wasn’t looking out, she was looking down at the console. One of the interesting things on these autonomous cars as they also have a camera facing the driver. The car was doing 40 miles an hour in a 45 zone when it struck and killed the pedestrian.
Other autonomous car projects seem to be going a lot better than Uber’s.
We are getting to a point soon where owning a car will only be something that the rich or the rural will do. Folks who live within a reasonable distance of any type of population center, will have a vehicle that can be at their front door in minutes. The car will not have a driver, and will never call in sick or be having a bad day. It will just be a service that we think nothing more about, than we think about packages appearing on our front step dropped off by UPS.
Of course, a human driver does that… for now.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.
By David Peel