The self-driving future may be closer than you think. There are already plenty of autonomous cars cruising the streets in California, Michigan, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Massachusetts. And those fleets are poised to grow exponentially, with Waymo, Uber, General Motors, and others promising to have tens of thousands of them on the road by 2020. These phantom rides have been largely greeted with excited curiosity. But in the wake of a high-profile death in Arizona, new questions are being raised about their safety, and both techies and regulators are being pressured to come up with some answers.
On Sunday, March 21, a woman named Elaine Herzberg was wheeling a bicycle across a two-lane road known as Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona, when she was struck by one of Uber’s self-driving cars. She was transported to the hospital, but ultimately died of her injuries. The tragic accident has many people asking what went wrong and who’s responsible.
NTSB investigators in Tempe, Arizona, examine the Uber vehicle involved in Sunday’s fatal accident. pic.twitter.com/Zoj4GrnxCT
— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) March 20, 2018
“Who will be charged in her death, this is why I’m against these,” remarked a Twitter user named Cha’s Dad shortly after the incident made headlines. He was one of many outraged people demanding that someone take responsibility for her death. Much is still unknown about the accident and Uber is currently cooperating with police as they continue to investigate. But there are lots of little points of confusion. For instance, it was late at night when the accident happened, but the…