Uber’s Fatal Accident and All the Other Self-Driving Car Crashes We Know About, Revealed

Self-driving cars are coming whether you like it or not. Driverless cars will either save Americans thousands of dollars every year, or they will kill the economy, but there’s more we don’t know. Is there a Darth Vader-like dark side of self-driving cars? How will car sales be affected? Who’s to blame when a self-driving car crashes? And most importantly, are they safer or more dangerous than other cars?

An Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian in March of 2018, but it’s not the first time a driverless car crashed. These are some of the other self-driving car crashes we know about.

1. Uber

The autonomous car killed a pedestrian. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • When: March 18, 2018
  • Where: Tempe, Ariz.

Uber gets a lot of bad press thanks to its shocking actions, but killing a pedestrian is probably the worst.

In March of 2018, a self-driving Uber car without any passengers struck and killed a woman in a late-night accident. She was walking her bike across the street when the Uber car hit her. The driver behind the wheel was not controlling the car because it was in self-driving mode, and the woman suddenly walked into the street.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Tempe police say the car was going 38 mph and avoiding the accident was nearly impossible given the time of day.

Next: Self-driving car crashes are nothing new.

2. Uber strikes again

A passenger look on as he rides in a pilot model of an Uber self-driving car

The driverless Uber wasn’t at fault here. | Angelo Merendino/AFP/Getty Images

  • When: March 24, 2017
  • Where: Tempe, Ariz.

Uber’s fatal accident in 2018 happened nearly one year after another one of its self-driving car crashes. In 2017, another car hit a driverless Uber and flipped the Uber car on its side. The Associated Press reports the driver of the other car caused the accident and no one was hurt.

Next: First responders got to this accident right away.

3. Tesla

This Tesla crashed into a parked fire truck. | Culver City Firefighters via Instagram

  • When: Jan. 22, 2018
  • Where: Culver City, Calif.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is changing the car industry and could become the richest person in the world because of it, but it’s not all good news for the company. Tesla gets some bad press, including because of crashes. Tesla’s cars with autopilot can practically drive themselves, but drivers still need to pay attention. Apparently, no one told the driver of a Tesla Model S that plowed into a parked fire truck in early 2018. Luckily, there weren’t any injuries.

Next: Not a good way to start.

4. Keolis shuttle bus

police tape on Las Vegas strip

In Las Vegas, an autonomous bus was in an accident in its first hour of service. | Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

  • When: Nov. 8, 2017
  • Where: Las Vegas

Talk about bad beginnings. In the first hour on the first day of service, a shuttle bus in downtown Las Vegas joined the list of self-driving car crashes. French company Keolis runs the shuttle service, but it wasn’t responsible for the accident. The shuttle stopped when it sensed danger, but a delivery driver in a truck hit it. None of the shuttle passengers or the delivery were hurt.

Next: An autopilot user error leads to a terrible crash.

5. Tesla again

2016 Tesla Model S

This high-profile crash made Tesla look really bad. | Tesla

  • When: May 7, 2016
  • Where: Williston, Fla.

Owning a Tesla isn’t the best call for everyone, especially for people who don’t how to use the autopilot function. That’s what happened in May of 2016.

The driver of a Tesla Model S engaged autopilot mode and took his hands off the wheel for all but 25 seconds of a 37-minute period, according to Reuters. The result? The car plowed into a semi truck at 74 mph and the driver died in what is probably the most gruesome of all the self-driving car crashes we’ve heard of.

Next: This was the first time this self-driving car caused an accident.

6. Waymo

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, is still positive after the crash. | Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

  • When: Feb. 14, 2016
  • Where: Mountain View, Calif.

Waymo (the arm of Google working on driverless cars) is working hard to make driverless cars a reality. So it’s no surprise Waymo has seen its fair share of self-driving car crashes. However, the accident in February of 2016 was the first time Waymo caused a crash.

While trying to make a right turn and navigate around an obstacle, the Waymo car hit a city bus. The Waymo car operator saw the bus and assumed it would stop, but it didn’t. No one was hurt in the low-speed accident.

Next: Red lights are there for a reason.

7. Self-driving car close calls

Self-driving cars have almost caused disasters in the past. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

We’ve just discussed some notable self-driving car crashes, but there have also been some close calls.

Next: Companies and cities taking stock.

8. The immediate aftermath of Uber’s fatal accident

A display of the Uber logo in an office building with a shadowy figure in the background.

Uber is pressing pause on its self-driving tests. | Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

  • Driverless car testing on hold
  • Cities and companies taking stock

According to CNBC, Uber halted driverless car testing across the country after the fatal accident in Arizona. Pittsburgh, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Toronto paused self-driving car testing because of the accident. NuTonomy and Optimus Ride, two Boston-based self-driving car companies, also stopped testing after the city asked them to, according to WBZ. Toyota halted its driverless car testing in California and Michigan in the wake of the fatal Uber accident.

Next: Take a look at the future.

9. Our future has lots of driverless cars

Eventually, self-driving cars will be part of our way of life. |Volvo

  • Self-driving cars are part of the future
  • Car and tech companies working on driverless cars

The fatal Uber accident was a tragedy, but the future will feature self-driving cars. Waymo, Uber, Kia, Toyota, Volvo, and a number of companies are working on driverless cars, and the deadly Uber accident won’t make them stop. Apple has more driverless cars on the road than Tesla or Uber. BMW is doubling its self-driving car testing despite the accident. Despite the risks, car and tech companies are working harder than ever to make driverless cars real.

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