USA police release video of fatal collision with Uber self-driving vehicle

Mar 25, 2018, 01:41
USA police release video of fatal collision with Uber self-driving vehicle

The driver, identified as 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez, was in the self-driving vehicle when it fatally hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she crossed an unlit Tempe, Ariz., roadway outside of a crosswalk with her bicycle. The interior view shows that the human operator, who was inside the vehicle but not in control of the auto, was looking downwards and not on the road just moments before the collision took place. Unlike California, where Uber had been testing since spring of 2017, Arizona state officials had taken a hands-off approach to autonomous vehicles and did not require companies to disclose how their cars were performing.

"The car's LiDAR (light ranging and detection laser system) should have picked the pedestrian up far before it hit her", says Raj Rajkumar, who leads the autonomous vehicle research team at Carnegie Mellon University. "Uber was struggling to meet its target of 13 miles between intervention" in Arizona, according to the article.

"The stage is now set for what will essentially be beta-testing on public roads with families as unwitting crash test dummies", the letter said.

Police in USA state of Arizona on Wednesday released a short video of a fatal collision between an Uber self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian, as investigators probe the accident that has put new focus on the safety of autonomous vehicles.

Was Uber's driverless vehicle crash avoidable?

Uber has been testing its self-driving cars in a regulatory vacuum in Arizona.

But while California requires self-driving vehicle companies to report problems they are having, Arizona has no such requirements.

The Uber test operator involved in a recent fatal accident was a convicted felon and had a history of traffic violations, according to The Wall Street Journal. As Volvo's video below shows, accidents like this are now preventable not just by having an attentive driver, and the one inside the Uber vehicle acting as a sort of backup, certainly appears not to be attentive, but by using active safety systems with automatic braking.

"So as we develop self-driving technology, safety is our primary concern every step of the way", Uber said. After the Tempe crash, Gov. Doug Ducey, who lured the companies to the state with a promise of minimal regulation, warned against jumping to conclusions. We will provide updated information regarding the investigation once it is available. The CEO was expected to visit Arizona next month to take a ride in one of the company's driverless cars, but that trip has been canceled due to scheduling, according to the Times.

"We're heartbroken by what happened this week, and our cars remain grounded", the Uber spokeswoman said.

"With autonomy, the edge cases kill you, so you've got to build out for all the edge cases", Khosrowshahi said at a conference in November.

Around the same time, Uber moved from two employees in every vehicle to one.

This isn't a great rate, compared with Uber's competitors.

Job boards are filled with listings for safety drivers.