Uber’s self-driving efforts are alive and well in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh and San Francisco have been central to the company’s efforts to put autonomous vehicles out to the wider public in the coming years. That reality is still a ways off, but until then, there are self-driving cars being tested on our city streets — and they are getting into accidents.
A recent incident on Monday led to the entire Uber self-driving fleet in Pittsburgh being grounded for a couple of hours. One of their self-driving vehicles was involved in a crash. It appears that another vehicle was attempting to make a left turn in front of the self-driving vehicle, and that the two vehicles collided. The wreck was not serious in nature and no one was hurt.
Uber was quick to perform damage control, saying that the person sitting in the driver’s seat of the self-driving car was in control at the time of the wreck. It also appears from the circumstances of the crash that the other vehicle may have actually been at fault, turning in front of the self-driving vehicle. However, we won’t know that for sure until a more extensive investigation is performed.
While that’s being done, we can only wonder what the future will be like when these self-driving cars become available for purchase and use. There will be complicated legal questions that have to be asked, and answered, when self-driving cars get into accidents and people suffer injuries as a result.