Uber signaled its intention to defy California regulators and refused to apply for permits to operate self-driven cars in the state. Unfortunately, a mere week after this revelation, it appears that Uber’s self-driven vehicles are not quite as reliable as they are touted, and they might get “confused” by bike lanes.
Within the first day of Uber rolling out its self-driven fleet in San Francisco, its cars were caught running red lights and committing a range of traffic violations. Furthermore, there is concern that the Uber cars are routinely violating the safety rules imposed around bike lanes. Cars are required to merge into the bike lane before turning right. But the Uber self-driven cars engage in dangerous “right hook turns.” The concern is that the self-driven car will cut off bikers and potentially get into accidents. The merger rule forces cars and bikers to share the road and to give everyone time to react to a right turn.
Uber stated that it is aware of the problem and is working on a solution. So the company refuses to take its autonomous cars off the road. Instead, Uber has instructed its drivers to take control whenever the car approaches a bike lane and is going to turn right. But there is concern that the human operators are not paying sufficiently close attention because it ‘s hard to maintain focus without being directly engaged.
If you were injured in a car collision, even if it was a self-driven car, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. Many accidents can be resolved by working with insurance but not every dispute. For example, many people are severely injured, beyond the capacity in the insurance policy, in these situations, it is best to have a lawyer involved from as early as possible to ensure that you can react to these developments in an efficient manner.
Source: The Guardian, “Uber admits to self-driving car ‘problem’ in bike lanes as safety concerns mount,” Sam Levin, December 19, 2016