A fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona, has clouded the prospects for self-driving cars, even though they may prove to be safer than driver-operated vehicles, The Security Ledger reports.
“That’s one conclusion of security experts after 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber Volvo XC90 SUV as she walked her bicycle across a Tempe street Sunday night. Within hours, Uber responded by pulling autonomous vehicles from the streets of Tempe, Pittsburgh, Toronto and other cities where they are operating as the authorities and the company investigate the Tempe incident. It’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi issued a statement of condolence for Herzberg’s family and promised cooperation with the police investigation.”
U.S. roads are becoming deadlier, with “the vast majority of fatalities” attributable to human errors like speeding and distracted driving. Yet images of driverless cars in occasional accidents could keep them off the roads, much as flying was initially considered too risky. Stay tuned.