A motorcyclist from San Francisco has recently filed a lawsuit against General Motors after one of its driverless cars nearly killed him last month.
The biker claims that one of the car maker’s driverless Chevy Bolts knocked him down after abruptly veering back to the lane he was on.
The incident has risen concerns about the safety of such cars in real life scenarios. Critics of the technology are concerned that with more self-driving cars on the road, the number of such accidents could skyrocket.
- According to DMV reports, the cases of crashes involving a self-driving vehicle has nearly doubled in just one year.
- However, self-driving technology enthusiasts claim that such accidents are “destined to happen” as roads are not fully accommodating the vehicles.
Vulnerable traffic participants like people in a wheelchairs, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians are still at risk as the technology needs to be improved.
The plaintiff, Oscar Nilsson, said that he got nearly killed in December when an autonomous Chevy Bolt changed lanes and abruptly veered back into the original lane knocking him down.
The Chevy Bolt’s driver tried to grab the wheel, but for Nilsson, it was too late. The police accused the motorcyclist of moving up into the lane before it was safe to do it. GM agrees with the police’s version of the story.
The motorcyclist’s lawyer, on the other hand, blames the car for making an “unpredictable and dangerous” move in traffic. Experts agree that the technology is evolving, and meanwhile driverless car makers should find better ways to keep vulnerable people safe.
Last week, GM asked the federal government to allow it to build and sell a car with no pedals or steering wheel. The driverless vehicle is expected to hit the roads in 2019.
GM and the Google-owned Waymo are currently the driverless industry’s leaders, according to Navigant’s rankings.
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