There’s a constant battle between men and machines. Nothing can protect mankind against the inevitable robot uprising. Recently, a new kind of machine emerged in the never-ending battle for global supremacy – self-driving cars. These autonomous vehicles bring promise of stress-free commutes, open roads and decreased accidents. But they’re not perfect. Here are a few hilarious fails by self-driving cars that remind us man is still winning in the war against machines.
1. Uber Fail
Oh, Uber. Everyone’s ride-sharing service has lost its five star rating in the span of a few months. They just can’t seem to shy away from controversy. But at least they have those trusty self-driving cars, right? Well, not so fast. Uber’s luxury self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs ran into trouble recently.
Here’s the deal:
All Uber had to do was pay a $150 fee to allow their self-driving cars to do test runs in California. Instead, they got into a vicious debate about the legal definition of a self-driving car test. Rather than pay a price equivalent to a ride home during surge pricing, Uber ditched California and headed for drier pastures in Arizona.
They then had to suspend their campaign when one of their self-driving Volvos got into a three-car collision in Tempe. They’ve had more issues too: at least six of their test cars were caught running red lights.
At least Uber doesn’t have millions invested in these faulty cars. Oops.
2. Google It
Google has it all – a recognizable name, super cool offices, and the title of world’s most popular website. It was only a matter of time until their winning streak came to an end.
Google’s self-driving cars experienced over 270 failures in the span of little more than a year. Even worse, their cars would have crashed at least 13 times had human test drivers not intervened. They’ve also been in at least five fender benders on the busy El Camino Real
Here’s the kicker:
3. Tesla’s YouTube Infamy
Glitches can be fixed, but YouTube clips live on forever. Tesla learned that the hard way when their self-driving cars hilariously malfunctioned.
Tesla’s autopilot mode came with specific instructions for users to keep their hands on the steering wheel. That didn’t stop one Internet troll from uploading a video of him trying hands free steering to disastrous results.
In the video, the self-driving Tesla takes a head on turn into oncoming traffic. Fortunately, the driver corrected the car’s mistake in the nick of time.
In another video, the driver actually followed instructions and kept his hands on the wheel. Unfortunately, the Tesla had other ideas. It veered in the direction of a curb before the driver course corrected.
Tesla admitted its autopilot mode still had to iron out a few kinks. That didn’t stop over 2,000,0000 YouTubers from viewing the videos with endearing titles like “Tesla Autopilot tried to kill me.”
4. Faraday’s Fail
Fails can be excruciating for the parties involved. But they are exponentially worse when they come in an embarrassing public display. Faraday Future learned that the hard way when their presentation of the FF 91 went awry.
This is crazy:
The company’s senior vice president of R&D and engineering, Nick Sampson, appeared on stage to give a seemingly innocuous presentation to show off a few self-driving features. Unfortunately, the FF 91 had other plans.
Sampson encouraged the car to show off its trendy new self-parking trick. The “driverless” function seemed aptly named – the car didn’t move.
This function was actually part of a rollout of new self-driving features. The live crowd witnessed an epic fail as Sampson was left scrambling, only to call the car “a little lazy tonight.”
Maybe insulting the disgruntled car wasn’t the best strategy.
5. Trouble with the Law
There are an infinite number of tried and true methods of getting out of a ticket – flirting, bribery, being elderly. But no move is quite as powerful as the “self-driving car.”
You might be wondering:
How does a self-driving car get in trouble with the law? Just ask Google.
A Google self-driving pod vehicle was stopped for traveling 24 mph in a 35 mph zone in California. The car caused traffic to halt – so much so, that an officer pulled the car over under California’s minimum speed law.
Google made the wise choice of capping their test pods at 25 mph for safety reasons. They did, however, allow the cars to travel in 35 mph zones – to the dismay of many.
The car was let off with a warning, but not before being given a stern talking to by the traffic officer.