Self-Driving Cars Failures-Explained

It is no secret that technology advancements are rushing to the car markets. A current trend is testing self- driving cars. However, many attempts to bring autonomous cars to consumers have resulted in tragic failures that have resulted in the loss of lives.

For example, a rise in ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have created additional expenses to drivers such as rideshare insurance, extra gas, and more. So, naturally Uber began to brainstorm innovative ways to cut down on costs. Uber began testing self-driving cars one of which devastatingly struck a pedestrian.

Uber was not the only incident of self-driving car tests malfunctioning. There were cases of such vehicles striking parked emergency vehicles and highway barriers, as well. Experts have done lots of research to get to the bottom of these accident and here is some of their findings.

Not Realizing Limitations of the Vehicle

Each self-driving vehicle comes with it’s own set of warnings and capabilities. Unfortunately, drivers still are not completely comprehending their vehicles abilities.The vehicle owners are overshooting their expectations for their vehicles resulting in the adverse effect of crashing.

Mindset of Test Drivers

Understanding vehicle limitations and having the right mindset as a driver of one of these vehicles goes hand and hand. Many of the test drivers for self-driving vehicles approach it with the thought process of sitting back and letting the car drive itself. However, the vehicles manual explicitly states that drivers must be fully aware and ready to take over at all times. But, it is understandable why drivers of these cars would become unfocused, as they are not truly driving.

Quality of Software

This point is especially relevant in the Uber self-driving car striking a pedestrian. It was reported that the woman who was hit was walking a bicycle. The software in the Uber was only programmed to recognize cyclists and pedestrians separately which is why it did not know how to respond to the woman walking her bicycle.

Street Conditions

A few reports have surfaced of self-driving vehicles hitting parked emergency vehicles. The explanation researchers offer for this occurrence are the conditions of the road. For example, emergency vehicles park unnaturally which means the self driving vehicle may have difficulties sensing the firetruck, ambulance, etc as something to avoid. Another factor that contributes to crashes is when lane markers are challenging to read which may have been the case for the emergency vehicle parked in multiple lanes or with the vehicle that crashed into a highway barrier. Additionally, Volvo who has been experimenting with their own vehicles, stated in their warnings that the auto breaking may not work with certain traffic and weather conditions.

Race to Develop the First Completely Self-Sufficient Vehicle

Car providers everywhere are rushing to update their automatic technology such as automatic parking. So, naturally, when things are hurriedly prepared they are bound to be flawed. Again, it is understandable since it is a competition for business.

Overall, we are not yet at the point where we have completely self-sufficient vehicles which means the driver should be attentive at all times. It also has taught companies not to be overly confident with their new software. With these few incidents and research in mind the automatic technology in cars has the chance to grow. But, it is the companies that are doing the testing that are responsible for trying to prevent a disaster like these from occurring again.