Incidents with UBER: autonomous car are not quite out of the woods yet …

The giant UBER was in full test mode on the American roads working on their autonomous cars for the Volvo fleet. Following an incident where an autonomous UBER car went through a red light in San Francisco at the end of 2016, the resulting collision had a negative effect on the image of this American platform. A definite setback for the company that is today experiencing a few management problems.

Another accident, involving an Uber car in automatic pilot mode, happened on 24th March in Arizona. The accident involved another non-autonomous vehicle. For now, according to the local police, the autonomous Uber vehicle was not in the wrong. It seems that it was the non-autonomous vehicle that didn’t give way to the Uber vehicle. This caused the Uber car to be violently overturned. It was driving at 37 miles per hour within the speed limit when it went through an orange light at an intersection when the accident happened. Until the final verdict is given, Uber has suspended its trials in Arizona for an unlimited period.

In the meantime, witnesses have been trying to piece together the accident. At the moment of the collision, two people were in the Volvo, to take over the controls just in case. Fortunately, no-one was killed or hurt in the accident.

If accidents are still the exception rather than the rule, the risk exists and there will probably be more issues as there will be more and more autonomous cars on the road. We will need time to manage the technology involved with these vehicles.

The autonomous car is still however a priority for Uber. Another challenge needs to be addressed and that is the problem of profitability. Since its creation in 2009, the American firm has not yet seen a return on investment during its quest.

For more information on the Uber trials:

  • https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/26/uber-suspends-self-driving-cars-arizona-crash-volvo-suv