Fatal accident halts Uber's fleet of self-driving vehicles

Self-Driving Uber Car Crashes In Arizona — Kills Pedestrian
Uber's Self-Driving Car Kills Pedestrian, Is Technology Being Deployed Too Early?
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21 March, 2018

USA police say a video from the Uber self-driving auto that struck and killed a woman on Sunday shows her moving in front of it suddenly, a factor that investigators are likely to focus on as they assess the performance of the technology in the first pedestrian fatality involving an autonomous vehicle. In Arizona, a human backup driver isn't required for self-driving test cars, although there was one in the XC90 that collided with 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. Initial evidence shows the vehicle didn't brake "significantly" before the impact.

On Monday, Tempe police Sergeant Ronald Elcock told reporters that impairment doesn't appear to be a factor for either Herzberg or Vasquez, and that it was too early to tell who was more at fault.

Herzberg was was walking her bicycle across a road in Tempe, near Phoenix, at around 10pm local time on Sunday when she was struck by the Volvo 4x4 and died from her injuries in hospital. In this incident, the other vehicle was determined to be at fault, and testing resumed.

Several of the white SUVs loaded with LIDAR equipment have been spotted out of the roads since Apple was granted permission to test self driving cars publicly.

The number of states considering legislation related to autonomous vehicles gradually has increased each year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Once the investigation concludes, the case will be referred to the Maricopa County attorney, who will determine whether to bring charges.

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The ride-hailing company began testing its autonomous vehicles in Arizona in February 2017. Republican Governor Doug Ducey reached out to Uber in 2016 after California regulators cracked down on the company over its failure to obtain testing permits.

Critics of autonomous vehicles also targeted the lack of safeguards that allow a human to retake control of a self-driving vehicle in an emergency and concerns over hacking, privacy, and cybersecurity.

"That being said, I think it's important not to kill the initiative of autonomous cars".

Uber has logged 2 million self-driving miles (3.2 million km) through December.

This is due to her stepping from the shadows near the median and into the path of the auto. Rain, snow and ice are particularly challenging for autonomous cars. Taking a lower scale and referencing May 7, 2017, that recorded 89 deaths in an auto crash, including Joshua Brown who died using autopilot mode, we can say, in the U.S., human drivers kill approximately 88 people in auto crash daily. But this accident may cause regulators to clamp down on what has seemed like a headlong rush to ideal the technology by risking, to some extent, the safety of the public.


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