Riders in Uber's self-driving cars had to waive the right to sue if they were injured or killed

By midian182 · 6 replies
Sep 27, 2016
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  1. Earlier this month, it was reported that Pittsburgh residents finally have a chance to ride in one of Uber’s new self-driving vehicles. While some passengers may find the prospect of riding around in an autonomous taxi exciting, a recent Guardian report shows just how experimental they still are.

    According to documents obtained by the publication under public record laws, up until June this year, Uber made any non-employees traveling in its self-driving vehicles sign a waiver releasing the company from any responsibility in the event of injury or death.

    One senior Pittsburgh police officer had to sign the form, which reads: “I acknowledge that some or all of the [autonomous vehicles] in which I ride are in a development phase, are experimental in nature, and that riding in an [autonomous vehicle] may involve the potential for death, serious injury, and/or property loss.”

    The document also identifies what may go wrong while traveling in one of the vehicles: “Risks associated with riding in an [autonomous vehicle] may include, without limitation, those caused by equipment failure, development vehicle operators or other safety drivers, actions of other motorists, weather, temperature, road conditions, negligence or human error.”

    When asking passengers to relieve Uber of liability even after their death, the clause reads: “I hereby agree on behalf of myself, my executors, administrators, heirs [and] next of kin.”

    “Loyal” Uber Pittsburgh passengers who travel in the self-driving cars don’t have to sign waivers, though the company did tell the Guardian that all riders are covered by $5 million of accident insurance.

    Uber’s autonomous cars only operate on certain routes where they’ve been extensively tested. One engineer will be behind the wheel ready to take control should something go wrong, while another records data from the passenger seat. Journeys in these vehicles continue to be free.

    While there are plenty of safety precautions present in Uber’s self-driving cars, the waiver shows just how far we have to go before these vehicles become truly autonomous and safer than human drivers.

    With a Google self-driving car recently involved in one of the worst autonomous accidents, along with constant questions over Tesla’s autopilot system, predictions that the technology won’t start appearing on our roads in large numbers until at least midway through the next decade appear accurate.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,362   +2,006

    HAHAHAHAHA ..... fat chance! As it has been proven in a number of state and federal courts, such waivers can easily be dismissed under a wide variety of reasons by any reasonably intelligent (above 80 IQ) attorney.
  3. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,026   +665

    Yah, but it gives the legal staff something to do - so it is useful in that manner.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,671   +1,961

    Any country that produces attorneys with 80 IQ is completely f####d.
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,287   +903

    I can waive my rest time, weekend and holidays at work, that doesn't make it legal. This is something, as already said that people need to learn.
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    Context please... the Google car didn't cause the crash - someone ran a red light and smashed into the side of it. A HUMAN driver smashed into it because he didn't see the red light. The crash would never have happened if both cars had been autonomous.

    And as it's been thoroughly discussed on this site - Tesla's autopilot is not autonomous - they don't say it is, and no one thinks it is.

    When deciding if autonomous cars are safe, let's at least be accurate about it.
    Adrcam and gingerbill like this.
  7. Adrcam

    Adrcam TS Rookie

    Agreed. I hate it when bloggers bring up examples which have absolutely nothing to do with what they are saying, just to justify their position.

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