The city of San Francisco has been gifted the treat of driverless taxis. Using artificial intelligence, these self-driving cabs have been taking people to a number of destinations. However, they’re also causing a number of issues
Why are the feds investigating driverless taxis?
San Francisco’s self-driving taxis are now officially under investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Primarily focused on General Motors’ Cruise taxis, the investigation follows a number of collisions around the city.
Via Reuters, recent crashes involving Cruise auto taxis have resulted in the investigation. While not the inciting incident, a collision in June that resulted in the injuries of multiple civilians has fast-tracked the investigation.
Crashes involving driverless cars are given more scrutiny than that of human-controlled cars. This is because any crash involving a self-driving vehicle is software or hardware error, not human distraction.
As reported by Futurism, driverless taxis have caused a number of issues in recent months. The day that Cruise received permission to commercialise its cars, a large crash occurred. How embarrassing that must’ve been.
Furthermore, Cruise driverless taxis all infamously came to a halt at the same time around a week ago. Due to a software issue, every Cruise vehicle stopped moving, blocking streets all around San Francisco. According to a supposed employee of the company, this bug happened “with regularity” during testing.
Are we truly ready for self-driving taxis?
Self-driving taxis may be a new technology, but they are quickly going to become commonplace. Already available droves in places such as Shanghai, driverless taxis are quickly expanding as part of the automotive industry.
Other smart car companies are already looking into investing in fleets of taxi cars. For example, Tesla, a company that is well known for its self-driving car technology, is looking into starting a taxi service. However, with the company under deep investigation for frequently self-driving Tesla crashes, that seems unlikely for now.
As we said earlier, self-driving vehicles require more scrutiny than everyday vehicles. With every single action its hardware makes wrong, that is a product failure. As such, that's usually why products get recalled.