Annnnnnd a Self-Driving Uber Killed a Pedestrian, But I’m Not Blaming Uber

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The technology behind self-driving cars has been trickling into our lives over the past couple of years, and it was only a matter of time before the act of a car driving itself would become something for the history books, meaning something good (but probably bad) is bound to happen real soon.

Andddddddd, here it goes:

(AP) Uber’s testing was halted after police in a Phoenix suburb said one of its self-driving vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian overnight Sunday. The vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel when a woman walking outside of a crosswalk was hit, Tempe police Sgt. Ronald Elcock said.

Yikes. Not good for the brand, self-driving Uber. However, I’m still team automated driving technology since it doesn’t quite seem that it was at fault in this particular incident. Why? This chick didn’t stay in her lane; she was on the road outside of a crosswalk! These cars are programmed to stop at all appropriate places, but they can’t predict idiotic behavior.

Could a human have avoided this? Sure. Could a human also have overacted and swerved into oncoming traffic or slammed into a pole? Definitely. That’s why there are over 1.3 MILLION deaths on the road every year in America. Humans aren’t that good at driving. That’s just fact. It’s the most dangerous thing we do on a daily basis.

I got my first speeding ticket ever a few months back and in order to avoid points on my license, I took a course called “Alive at 25” where I basically spent four hours listening to an ex-cop from Utica tell me horror stories of all the accidents he’s visited. He also used the term “road pizza” a lot, which, you can use your brain to figure out what that means.The human body is made mostly of water, and cars aren’t…

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So, I am team technology in this case and hope this doesn’t ruin everything for us in terms of becoming the 2018 version of the Jetsons and living in an even crazier tech-savvy world than we can even imagine. This is one unfortunate incident, but the tech behind all of this is still in its early stages, and once they nail it, the benefits are endless. (Remember when we wrote about how beer could potentially be delivered with a driverless truck? Yeah, take notes.)

However, most Americans are as hesitant about change as they are lazy. We like things that we know and trust, also known as a routine AKA driving by ourselves. So when we start throwing automated cars into the mix of millions of Americans recklessly driving on the roads, it’s our nature to be alarmed. But I’ve always been team automation because it’s my opinion (and also fact) that computers are smarter than human. But of course we’re skeptical, and of course, when the first death occurred from an automated vehicle there will be heavy backlash annnnnnd it just happened.

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Even when automated cars take over the world, we will hold onto our licenses like our grandparents hold onto their rolodex and tell our grandkids the horror of Driver’s Education and taking your drivers test three times, teaching yourself how to parallel park on the fly until you passed. Your grandkids will be like, “What? Why?”

So yeah, self-driving Uber is responsible for one death on the road. But humans? They’re responsible for five billion and counting. I just made that number up but something tells me I’m probably right.



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Author: Captain Jack

Founder of Two Buttons Deep. Once went four buttons deep but that was a bad decision. Avid Hawaiian shirt enthusiast. Troy, NY.

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