Uber has exploded on the Chicago transportation scene in recent years. More and more people are opting to make Uber their go-to means of transit and favoring the ride share program over taxi cabs, personal cars, and even L trains and buses. As Uber expands, the company has been looking at innovating in new ways to keep their edge and to make themselves the first choice in rides for Americans as well as those in cities across the world. After all, Uber’s presence in 506 cities globally makes them a force to be reckoned with and that is unlikely to change for some time.
Today, Uber is making headlines as it has announced its plans to introduce self-driving vehicles in at least one major market and to have those vehicles on public roadways as early as this month. Illinois Uber users will not be experiencing these automated rides yet but those who grab an Uber in Pittsburg could have an entirely new type of experience.
Uber reports that its first fleet of self-driving vehicles will arrive in the Pittsburg area as a test market to see how these vehicles provide rides to Uber customers. The Volvo XC90s will drive themselves but will not be unmanned on the roads as an engineer will be behind the wheel and a co-pilot will also be present. Uber claims that the engineer will be able to take over in the event of a risky situation or an emergency, thereby ensuring the safety of passengers while this self-driving technology is still advancing.
Critics have cautioned against this type of automated driving in recent months, though, claiming that a driver or an engineer who is present to act only when necessary will note be alert and ready to act when needed. Instead, those tasked with operating a car but not with constantly driving it are believed to get lulled into a sense of security, allowing their minds and attention to wander and failing to take action when the road necessitates it.
So what does this means for the safety of Uber passengers here in Chicago and in the rest of the nation? Right now, it is too early to tell the overall impact toward safety that self-driving cars will have. But whether in an autonomous vehicle or a standard car, passengers should know that they are at risk for an Uber car accident and may suffer injuries if a collision happens to them. Relief for these victims is possible through a personal injury claim and can be made easier, more efficient, and can provide better results if a victim opts to work with a personal injury lawyer.
Fortunately, Uber carries automobile insurance to protect its passengers and those in other cars in the event an Uber vehicle is involved in a collision but victims must act within a time period specified by law. Failing to act according to the laws of Illinois and/or within a time period specified based upon the facts of the accident will lead to a victim being barred from recovering for her losses.
Prior Blog Entry:
Ignoring a Motorcyclist’s Right-of-Way Can Be Deadly, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 15, 2016.
Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Coming to First U.S. City, by Justin Worland, Time, published August 18, 2016.