So, Slash Gear is reporting that Uber is opening up an AI (artificial intelligence) lab in, where else, San Francisco. According to the article, the ridesharing giant will be creating a standalone division to be called Uber AI Labs, which will be dedicated not only to the self-driving cars we’ve been hearing so much about for the last few years, but will also go deeper into how electronic devices can move about a world and deal with all the unpredictable factors it can throw up – particularly the funny things that we human beings so often do. This would include not only cars, but all sorts of other vehicles including, we imagine, aerial drones, automatic pilots, and the like. But, let’s stick to cars on this one.
Of course, from the point of view of personal injury lawyers, the most interesting aspect of this is what happens in the fairly inevitable event of an injury accident involving these kinds of vehicles. We’ve already seen some serious collisions involving driverless cars but, as the numbers of these cars slowly increase over the next several years, we’re going to start seeing some very interesting situations. For example, because we tend to think of humans as being inherently prone to make errors, many of us may assume that they will typically be the at fault party in a collision – but that could turn out to be an incorrect assumption.
There may well be cases where other drivers or pedestrians are following all of the rules of the road and may still wind up being injured, in which case the robot (i.e., the software) driving the car would actually be at fault. Of course, in a case like that, the company that owned the vehicle would be the financially responsible party. In other words, Uber would be very well advised to only hire the best and brightest minds to staff its AI Labs. Errors could be costly.