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The Rise of Self-Driving Cars

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that autonomous vehicles are all over the news.  All around the United States, autonomous cars are becoming more common.

The National Safety Council (NSC) just released estimates that at least 40,000 Americans die each year in car accidents.  The vast majority of car crashes are caused by human error. The switch to autonomous vehicles on public roads may provide a safe alternative.

Self-Driving Ride-Hailing and Taxi Programs

Around the country, self-driving autonomous driving taxis are becoming available.  Las Vegas, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Dallas already have self-driving autonomous rides available.

As Karl Iagnemma, the president of self-driving at Aptiv (which builds self-driving technology for Lyft and other fleets) told CBS News, “These cars never get drowsy. They’re never impaired by alcohol. They’re never distracted by their cell phones. It pretty much still looks like a regular car.”

In these pilot programs, there are still human drivers in the car who are there in case something unexpected happens.  Aptiv has about 75 autonomous vehicles in the Las Vegas area. Thirty of them work through the Lyft app. If you order a self-driving car through Lyft, a BMW will show up with a driver and an engineer.

Autonomous Technology is Not Perfect Yet

While the technology behind autonomous cars is improving, it is far from perfect.

In March 2018, a self-driving Uber struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona—a city just east of Phoenix.  The ride-sharing car was in self-driving mode at the time of the accident.  The victim was crossing the street at the time she was struck. This crash was the first time a fatal collision ever occured between a self-driving car and a pedestrian.

Additionally, just last year, a Tesla Model X caught fire and resulted in a fatality.  The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the crash and Tesla confirmed that Autopilot had been activated at the time of the crash.

Experienced Car Accident Attorneys

Were you or a loved one in a car accident involving a self-driving vehicle in the Las Vegas area?  If so, you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer for legal advice. Contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today at (702) 857-6000.  We offer Free Consultations.


Last updated Wednesday, November 29th, 2023

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