Autonomous Cars and Uber Driving


Lexi Borraccio

Uber sells gift cards for their brand at local drugstores.

Uber has taken a turn for the worse and is causing more harm than good.

Thousands of people use Ubers, the mobile pre-paid driving services, everyday to get from place to place, but Uber is taking steps in the wrong direction. The company has recently began testing cars with no driver, better known as autonomous cars. According to Carolyn Said in the San Francisco Chronicle, a fatal accident occurred killing a women in the street. After this tragic event, people are fearful to use these new inventions. Ubers themselves are not the most reliable due to acts of sexual assault which have occurred. Being in the hands of a random driver may not be as great of an idea as it is convenient.

A self-driving Uber SUV hit and killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Ariz,” said Said.

49 year old Herzberg was transported to the hospital and died after arrival. This was not Arizona’s first Uber driving incident as another happened luckily with no injuries.

“It’s scary, I think it is unfortunate, I’m not into the self driving cars, unless it’s on interstates, where all cars are moving in one direction, I’m not cool with city driving,” said Adams U.S. History teacher Mr. Beall.

If the autonomous cars were moving in the same direction on a highway the risk is less than driving in a city, especially if it is highly populated. Sophomore Lily Morelock has similar ideals when it comes to autonomous cars.

“I think it’s an unsafe idea as it could result in death or injury because self driving cars are not proven to be trustworthy,” said Morelock.

Luckily Uber has taken a break from their self-driving vehicles according to the  San Francisco Chronicle,

“Uber suspended its autonomous-car testing program after the accident, in which a backup driver was at the wheel but appeared to be looking down briefly prior to the accident. Most other developers have continued trials on public roads, generally with backup drivers,” said Said.

According to Aarian Marshall in,

self-driving cars are coming to California and allowing these cars on the road with other citizens. Trying to keep it “safer” and keeping a driver in the car ready to take control. However this is not comforting to the thousands of residents in California.

“There’s a human in the driver’s seat, ready to grab control in case the robot goes rogue,” said Marshall.

Josie Wenzell
Despite all the issues, Uber still has a 4.7 star rating on their App

Self-driving cars are not the only issue citizens face when riding in an Uber. Sexual assault, kidnapping, and rape are all risks when hopping into the back seat of a car with a paid driver.

According to Avi Selk in the The Washington Post, disturbing and terrifying events have occured with sketchy Uber drivers. Young girls should be aware who they are getting in the car with.

“Detectives now suspect that Jagne raped the girl on a street lined with houses and strip malls in an unincorporated section of the suburbs, a few miles northwest of Atlanta,” said Selk.

Is putting yourself in danger okay because “a lot of people use them”? What makes students “trust” uber drivers? They are just as good of drivers as anyone else, right? Sophomore Zach Hassein who has had a great deal of experience with taking ubers shares his thoughts,

“Uber’s are safe because they’re just like taxis. When I order an Uber I feel safe and comfortable because a lot of people use them and I trust the people driving,” said Hassein.

Ubers are not “just like taxis” because the drivers do not receive background checks. Anyone is able to sign up to become an Uber driver. Morelock disagrees with Hassein as she still thinks Ubers are unsafe.

“I would say that students shouldn’t be using Ubers unless accompanied by an adult because Uber is driven by a random person,” said Morelock.

Josie Wenzell
Junior Olivia Davies chooses to drive her own car rather than use an Uber.

Regardless of one’s personal life, the regulations to become an Uber driver are slim. Becoming an Uber driver comes as easy as clicking a button. When visiting the Uber website, answering a few questions is all that is needed to register. Beall shares his thoughts on lack of driver screenings.

“I don’t see it as being less safe as getting a cab. I think they need to be a little more screening on the drivers,  maybe some training, they could go through some school,” said Beall.

As the majority of students and adults consider Uber an unsafe and unreliable way of transportation, thousands do not take into question if they are safe, or they just simply ignore it. Teenagers mainly believe that these fearful incidents cannot happen to them, when this is in fact a fallacy. Everyone should be taking the proper actions when going in questionable places; however, Uber will continue to thrive, and hopefully the public will take into consideration all of its dangers.