Self-Driving Cars: Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

Self-driving technology for fully autonomous passenger vehicles is more difficult to achieve than it seems; major ridesharing companies have recently sold their autonomous driving technology development departments, even as fully self-driving commercial trucks may soon become a reality.

Machines are pretty smart. They can locate your cell phone and car keys. They can read Kafka’s Metamorphosis and write a sequel that is, somehow, even more disturbing than the original. They can identify DNA from a drop of blood on a sock that has been stashed in an attic for decades. Sometimes, though, robots need human help to perform their amazing and useful feats. Self-driving vehicle technology, which car enthusiasts have been raving about for the past decade, has been slow to reach a point where vehicles can be trusted to operate without human intervention. Unlike search engines and apps that rely on every piece of human input to improve continuously (which is why Gmail does a bang-up job of completing your sentences and why similar technologies, if asked to do so, can compose dystopian novels), robotics technology requires human problem-solving for every improvement. As of 2021, there are only a few fully autonomous vehicles on the road, and they have already caused some major damage. If you have been injured in an accident involving a self-driving car, contact the Murrieta car accident lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP.

Don’t Expect Self-Driving Uber Cars in Murrieta Anytime Soon

This year, Uber and Lyft sold their autonomous vehicle units to companies with more resources to invest in self-driving technology. It is not that Uber and Lyft do not want to offer rideshare rides in self-driving cars; rather, the research required to make self-driving passenger vehicles safe enough to operate commercially has turned out to be prohibitively expensive. While there have been a few fatal accidents involving driverless cars, including one where a driverless vehicle struck a pedestrian in Arizona, the biggest obstacle is the endless court battles over self-driving technology.

Meanwhile, Waymo driverless cars continue to operate in the Phoenix area, but they do not plan to expand into other cities anytime soon. Like skittish horses, the brakes of driverless cars tend to overreact to small obstacles on the road, including pollen and raindrops, leading to car sickness as well as collisions. The Phoenix suburbs are almost the perfect place for driverless cars. If robots can drive anywhere unassisted by humans, they can do it in a city with flat terrain and wide roads on a grid pattern, where it rarely rains and never snows. Part of the reason only one pedestrian has been killed by a self-driving car in Phoenix is that Phoenix has so few pedestrians.

Self-Driving Technology for Commercial Trucks is More Attainable Than for Passenger Vehicles

Driverless passenger vehicles are a ways away, but driverless commercial trucks are a more attainable goal. The routes, which mostly consist of driving a straight line on the highway, are simpler, and freight will not panic or get carsick if the brakes engage every time a raindrop falls on the road. The trouble is that there is no such thing as a minor truck accident, and this applies to driverless trucks, too.

Contact a Murrieta, Self-Driving Vehicle Accident Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you have suffered serious injuries in an accident involving a driverless car or truck. Contact Gibbs & Fuerst LLP in Murrieta, California to discuss your car accident case.