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Uber wants to resume self-driving car tests on public...

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Nearly eight months after one of its autonomous test vehicles hit and killed an Arizona pedestrian, Uber wants to resume testing on public roads. The company has filed an application with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to test in Pittsburgh, and it has issued a lengthy safety report pledging to put two human backup drivers in each vehicle and take a raft of other precautions to make the vehicles safe. Company officials acknowledge they have a long way to go to regain public trust after the March 18 crash in Tempe, Arizona, that killed Elaine Herzberg, 49, as she crossed a darkened road outside the lines of a crosswalk. Nearly eight months after one of its autonomous test vehicles hit and killed an Arizona pedestrian, Uber wants to resume testing on public roads. Police said Uber's backup driver in the autonomous Volvo SUV was streaming the television show'The Voice' on her phone and looking downward before crash.


Waymo will add up to 62,000 FCA minivans to self-driving fleet

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

U.S. drivers' fears of fully autonomous (self-driving) vehicles has risen in the past several months according to a new survey by AAA. SAN FRANCISCO -- Waymo's self-driving mission is about to mushroom. The Alphabet-owned autonomous car company announced Thursday that it is significantly ramping up its partnership with Fiat Chrysler and over time will add up to 62,000 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to its fleet. That's a significant bump from a January announcement in which Waymo, which started out as Google's self-driving car project in 2009, said it would add "thousands" of new FCA minivans. The news speaks to the quickening pace of Waymo's development of fully self-driving vehicles, which have been testing around the Phoenix area for more than a year.


Shocking moment self-driving vehicle get into car crash in Arizona

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A self-driving vehicle was hit in a violent car crash in Arizona. On Friday self-driving vehicle company Waymo released video footage of one of its vehicles getting hit as it was being tested in Chandler. The video captures the moments right before the crash, where a silver Honda is seen driving at high speed as it swerves out of its lane and crashes into the Waymo car. The clip reveals the moment the Honda travelling east swerves right in front of the Waymo self-driving van. The crash took place on Chandler Boulevard and Los Feliz Drive and the wreck is now under investigation.


Race to robot cars continues after fatal crash

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The race to perfect robot cars continues despite fears kindled by the death of a woman hit by a self-driving Uber vehicle while pushing a bicycle across an Arizona street. Uber put a temporary halt to its self-driving car program in the US after the fatal accident this month near Phoenix, where several other companies including Google-owned Waymo are testing such technology. While the Uber accident may be used to advance arguments of those fearful of driverless cars, it does not change the fact that'transformative technology is coming whether we like it or not,' according to Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington. Pilot models of the Uber self-driving car, pictured in 2016 before one of the autonomous vehicles killed a woman in Arizona. 'There certainly will be calls to stop all autonomous vehicle testing, not just Uber's program,' Tomer said in a post on the institution's website.


Waymo CEO Krafcik has 'a lot of confidence' his tech would have avoided deadly Uber accident

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Waymo is among the companies operating self-driving test vehicles in Arizona. The company was the first to receive permission from the state to deploy self-driving vehicles in ride-hailing service. SAN FRANCISCO -- In a pioneering self-driving car company's first public comments on the Uber autonomous car accident last week that killed an Arizona woman, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said his tech could "handle" that very scenario. "I want to be really respectful of Elaine, the woman who lost her life, and her family," Krafcik said at a National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in Las Vegas Saturday. "(But) in the case of a pedestrian or a pedestrian with a bicycle, we have a lot of confidence that our technology would be robust and would be able to handle situations like that one."