North America Government


NTSB: Uber Self-Driving Car Had Disabled Emergency Brake System Before Fatal Crash

NPR

A vehicle drives by the spot where an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian earlier this year in Tempe, Ariz. The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday on the collision. A vehicle drives by the spot where an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian earlier this year in Tempe, Ariz. The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday on the collision. The Uber self-driving vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian two months ago in Tempe, Ariz., took note of the victim with its sensors, but its software did not engage the car's brakes to prevent the collision, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board.


Automating window washing

Robohub

Three and half years ago, I stood on the corner of West Street and gasped as two window washers clung to life at the end of a rope a thousand feet above. By the time rescue crews reached the men on the 69th floor of 1 World Trade they were close to passing out from dangling upside down. Ramone Castro, a window washer of three decades, said it best, "It is a very dangerous job. It is not easy going up there. You can replace a machine but not a life."


FDA permits marketing of artificial intelligence algorithm for aiding providers in detecting wrist fractures

#artificialintelligence

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of Imagen OsteoDetect, a type of computer-aided detection and diagnosis software designed to detect wrist fractures in adult patients. "Artificial intelligence algorithms have tremendous potential to help health care providers diagnose and treat medical conditions," said Robert Ochs, Ph.D., acting deputy director for radiological health, Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "This software can help providers detect wrist fractures more quickly and aid in the diagnosis of fractures." The OsteoDetect software is a computer-aided detection and diagnostic software that uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to analyze two-dimensional X-ray images for signs of distal radius fracture, a common type of wrist fracture. The software marks the location of the fracture on the image to aid the provider in detection and diagnosis.


Combination of blockchain and AI makes models more transparent

#artificialintelligence

The rapid emergence and use of AI in mission- and business-critical situations is leading management teams to consider issues of trust. This is especially true when machine learning systems are used to make decisions that have particularly serious ramifications. For example, the issue arises with autonomous vehicles that need to make split-second decisions, with AI-based systems that make loan or insurance claim decisions, and with tools used to sentence convicts or determine bail amounts. In each of these situations and others, humans are trusting machines to make decisions that can have significant and potentially harmful outcomes. But while their decision-making processes are opaque today, there is hope that the combination of blockchain and AI could make learning systems more interpretable.


NTSB report says self-driving Uber saw pedestrian 6 seconds before deadly crash

FOX News

Raw video: Cameras mounted inside the car catches the fatal moment. Authorites are investigating the cause of the crash. The self-driving Uber SUV that struck and killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Ariz., in March picked her up on its sensors six seconds before it hit her, but did not determine that it needed to stop or evade her until it was too late, according to federal investigators. Herzberg was jaywalking her bicycle across a four-lane section of road on the night of March 18 when the Volvo XC90 SUV ran into her. A preliminary report on the accident from the National Transportation Safety Board issued on Thursday said that a review of the data from the car shows that it first identified her as an unknown object, then as a vehicle and finally as a bicycle.


Uber's Self-Driving Car Saw the Woman It Killed, Report Says

WIRED

The federal investigators examining Uber's fatal self-driving crash in March released a preliminary report this morning. It lays out the facts of the collision that killed a woman walking her bicycle in Tempe, Arizona, and explains what the vehicle actually saw that night. The National Transportation Safety Board won't determine the cause of the crash or issue safety recommendations to stop others from happening until it releases its final report, but this first look makes two things clear: Engineering a car that drives itself is very hard. And any self-driving car developer that is relying on a human operator to monitor its testing systems--to keep everyone on the road safe--should be extraordinarily careful about the design of that system. The report says that the Uber vehicle, a modified Volvo XC90 SUV, had been in autonomous mode for 19 minutes and was driving at about 40 mph when it hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she was walking her bike across the street.


Self-Driving Uber In Fatal Accident Had 6 Seconds To React Before Crash

Huffington Post

The NTSB report also noted the pedestrian tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana. That information is of limited use ― the Uber should have identified and avoided her either way ― but it does potentially provide insight into why she didn't cross at the crosswalk 360 feet to the north, and why she was unaware of the vehicle until immediately before impact.


Self-driving Uber saw pedestrian 6 seconds before fatal crash, new NTSB report says

Mashable

More details have emerged about the self-driving Uber car crash that killed a woman in Arizona earlier this year. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its preliminary findings Thursday about the March 18 fatal crash. Elaine Herzberg, 49, was struck and killed while walking a bicycle across a four-lane road in Tempe, Arizona. A 44-year-old Uber test driver was at the wheel of the modified 2017 Volvo XC90. The car was in autonomous mode and had been for the 19 minutes before the crash.


NASA wants to build a moon base to make rocket fuel for trip to Mars

Daily Mail

As soon as next year, NASA will launch a series of robotic commercial delivery missions to the moon in preparation for an astronaut lunar base. The planned Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) missions aim to establish a'sustainable presence' on the moon, paving the way for science and technology missions and, ultimately, human exploration. According to the space agency, water ice on the lunar surface could even serve as rocket fuel, meaning the moon could become a pit stop on the way to more distant destinations. NASA says the first trips, which could begin in 2019, will deliver instruments and technology to the surface, including devices from the former Resource Prospector concept that aimed to become the first mining expedition on another world. 'We conducted a thorough science and engineering assessment of Resource Prospector and determined all four instruments are at a high technology readiness level, are appropriate for science on the moon, and will make flights on future Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) missions,' said Dennis Andrucyk, deputy associate administrator Science ission Directorate, at NASA Headquarters in Washington.


Uber self-driving car 'saw woman but didn't brake before crash'

New Scientist

An autonomous Uber car spotted a pedestrian about six seconds before fatally hitting her but did not stop because the system used to automatically apply brakes in potentially dangerous situations had been disabled, US federal investigators said. In a preliminary report on the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said emergency braking manoeuvres are not enabled while Uber's cars are under computer control "to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behaviour". Instead, Uber relies on a human backup driver to intervene but the system is not designed to alert the driver. In the crash in March, the driver began steering less than a second before impact but did not brake until less than a second after impact, according to the preliminary report, which does not determine fault. A video of the crash showed the driver looking down just before the vehicle struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona.