Uber's Autonomous Car Allegedly Crashed Into Another Car


One of Uber's fleet of self-driving cars currently engaged in public testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was involved in an accident, it seems. The driver of the other car was Jessica Mclemore, who said that the Uber vehicle had its right turn signal on as she made a left turn, but collided with her by continuing to drive straight on. While conventional law would say that Mclemore is at fault in this incident due to making a left turn with oncoming traffic on the other side of the road, a few extra details apply in this case; the car was in autonomous mode when the crash happened and should most likely have not had its signal on, the Uber vehicle reportedly left the scene without any recourse, and Uber disputed Mclemore's account of events, saying that its vehicle had its left turn signal on.

According to Mclemore, the Uber having its turn signal on made her think it would turn right before colliding with her, making it safe for her to turn left. According to Uber, however, the left turn signal was on for a lane change, and the collision would still have occurred no matter which lane the car was in. Mclemore says that the safety driver for the vehicle assured her that she would get a ride home and repairs for her vehicle, then left, and she has had no contact with Uber since then. Though Mclemore is technically at fault in any case, the Uber driver leaving the scene and leaving her stranded due to heavy damage on her vehicle could result in fines or legal charges being thrown at the driver, the company, or both. There have been no official statements from Uber or Pittsburgh police at this point.

Uber's self-driving cars were among the worst on public roads in a test a while back, requiring humans to take over just about once per minute, on average. The company has had time to improve since then, and has been embroiled in a legal battle with Google's Waymo over misappropriation of trade secrets. In this particular case, it's quite possible that the human driver's unexpected behavior was beyond the car's physical ability to cope with, even if the self-driving system figured out how to avoid the crash as soon as it detected her heading toward it. Even so, the incident casts doubt on the safety of self-driving cars as a whole, a sentiment that Mclemore openly holds, according to an interview with a local news station following the incident.

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Senior Staff Writer

Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, Voice assistants, AI technology development news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]

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