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Human factor may be hampering autonomous car development

Considering the recent fatality involving a driverless Uber car, some Kentucky motorists may be wondering about the future of autonomous technology. The accident resulted in Uber suspending its driverless vehicle operations. However, the question remains as to why the accident occurred and whether similar tragedies can be prevented.

A computer science professor from Arizona State University's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering claims that self-driving vehicle manufacturers are focused too much on creating a human-like driving experience. Ultimately, this could be leading to the incorporation of fallible human behavior in each car's safety program. His research is currently in the field of cyber-physical systems design, which would allow a computer to control the vehicle and better ensure safe behavior and reactions.

According to the professor, the Uber accident shows how self-driving vehicles mimic unsafe human habits. While the street was dark at the time of the incident, the Uber vehicle drove on at normal speeds. Thus, when the pedestrian appeared, the vehicle could not slow down fast enough to avoid a collision. The vehicle could have been programmed instead to slow down in such hazardous areas.

The victim of a motor vehicle accident involving a driverless car will likely be faced with difficulties if he or she wishes to file a claim. Such accidents are rare, but with legal representation, the victim could have the case fairly evaluated and a possible settlement calculated. Whether an accident is caused by a vehicle operated autonomously or through a driver, an attorney could potentially bring in investigators and other third-party experts to build up a case.

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