In the News: Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous Vehicles (AV) continue to be a hot topic. Last month, the U.S. reported its first death involving a self-driving Uber. The test vehicle was in self-driving mode with a human back-up driver at the wheel when a pedestrian was struck by the vehicle.

According to the U.S. News, the fatality could hurt the technology's image and lead to a push for more regulations at the state and federal levels.

Last month’s pedestrian fatality has caused the ride-hailing company to suspend its on-road testing program.

Autonomous vehicles with laser, radar and camera sensors and sophisticated computers have been billed as the way to reduce the more than 40,000 traffic deaths a year in the U.S. alone. According to government officials, ninety-four percent of crashes are caused by human error.

Start-up service Udelv made history recently by conducting the first fully autonomous deliveries near its San Mateo, CA headquarters. The 2.5 mile route included multiple stops on public streets. The firm’s custom vehicle is fully electric and has a range of 60 miles. It can accommodate up to 700 pounds of cargo. Udelv plans to test dozens more of these autonomous vehicles in several other states during 2018.