The society we live in has become one that feels as if it’s a knee-jerk reaction society that responds to every incident that takes place. Laws are put in place to protect citizens from harming themselves and others and allow the growth and development of the products and services we use on a regular basis. Even with the regulatory bodies and laws that are in place, some exceptions take place and when those exceptions are seen, many people are quick to turn to social media to air their complaints and call for stricter laws or changes based on one incident.
Recently, a self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian. Taking that statement at face value would make you wonder why a vehicle was allowed on the streets without a driver and ask for stricter regulations regarding these vehicles. Questions may arise and protests could take place calling for the movement from the tech age back to the stone age when it comes to the vehicles we drive, but there’s certainly more to the story than what’s contained in one small sentence that barely offers the facts of the incident that occurred in Tempe, AZ recently.
In response to the accident that fatally killed a pedestrian recently, Arizona Governor Dough Ducey has stated he doesn’t see any reason to make the regulations regarding self-driving testing on the roads in Arizona any stricter. The implementation of testing in Arizona was passed into law in 2015 and the fact that Arizona offers smooth open road and sunny weather made it the perfect place to have self-driving vehicles out testing. Currently, there are over 600 self-driving vehicles on the roads in this state to offer the development of the technology we might enjoy in the future.
Regarding the Uber autonomous Volvo XC90 that hit and killed the pedestrian, there’s much more to the story. This vehicle was not only fitted with the autonomous tech, there was a driver in the seat that was in a position to take over in the event the systems of the vehicle would fail during testing. Without speculating on the incident, Uber took the precautions that were expected to make sure no accidents would occur and somehow either the vehicle or the driver failed to react to the pedestrian and stop before the fatal crash that has begun to shake the automotive world.
While the Arizona DOT gathers the full details and investigates the accident, there are many questions that arise and reactions that take place. No final conclusions have been drawn by police at this time, but we expect to have more answers in the near future. Its unfortunate a person lost their life because of being hit by a vehicle, and this certainly is the worst fear anyone could have had for self-driving technology, but all safety and precautions appear to have been in place at the time of the accident. Still, this accident might cause some automakers to step back and review their systems further before putting more vehicles on the road with self-driving technology installed.