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0 Comments | Mar 28, 2018

Self-Driving Cars: Don’t Take Your Eyes off the Road Just Yet

As fully autonomous vehicles move closer to becoming a reality, concerns are as large as ever. The Tempe, Arizona fatality involving an Uber vehicle being operated in self-driving mode is just the most recent. While it’s become a national headline, this issue isn’t the first problem involving robotic vehicles and the people operating them.

In the months leading up to this incident, Uber’s self-driving cars had a notoriously difficult time adjusting to a number of standard road conditions such as construction zones and navigating traffic while next to large vehicles. There’s also the whole issue of autonomous vehicles misidentifying road signs. All in all, these issues will most likely spell doom for Uber’s goal of offering driverless ride-hailing services by the end of 2018.

While self-driving vehicles are clearly in need of refinement, companies are using operators to offset issues during testing phases. When the car can’t handle difficult situations, the operator is supposed to intervene. It’s hard to intervene though if you’re not paying attention to the road. In the case of Uber, one driver was fired after a colleague spotted them sleeping behind the wheel and another was fired for playing the air drums while passing through an intersection.

If nothing else, these issues, vehicle and driver alike, should serve as a reminder that you have to focus while on the road.




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