The auto industry is anxious to replace cars on the road with self-driving cars to generate vast new streams of revenue.
So with that profit-driven goal in mind, Volvo introduced its new self-driving, self-braking SUV X360 to much fanfare.
The SUV was taken on a test run somewhere in the Dominican Republican. The driverless SUV was set to demonstrate its self-braking, human detection feature for a group of people, including two men dumb enough to stand directly in front of it.
What happened next was caught on video for the world to see.
The SUV accelerated and mowed down the two men, one of whom was filming the demonstration with his cell phone.
After the video went viral, Volvo was quick to contain the public relations disaster by blaming the people, not the stunning failure of their self-driving, self-braking SUV:
From NY Daily News:
Volvo spokesman Johan Larsson told Fusion the people in the video did not pay for the car’s “pedestrian detection functionality,” which is sold separately for about $3,000 and is intended for slow or stop-and-go driving.
But even if the car had the feature, Larsson said, the remote driver would have messed with it anyway by “actively accelerating” the car, thereby overriding its auto-brake ability.
The two men mowed by the car “were bruised but are OK,” according to Remolacha.