Self-driving cars parked

Boston Herald

NuTonomy and Optimus Ride have agreed to suspend their self-driving car tests in Boston in the wake of Sunday's tragedy in Arizona, where an autonomous Uber vehicle killed a pedestrian. "We are working with City of Boston officials to ensure that our automated vehicle pilots continue to adhere to high standards of safety," a nuTonomy spokeswoman said in a statement. "We have complied with the City of Boston's request to temporarily halt autonomous vehicle testing on public roads." Karl Iagnemma, chief executive of nuTonomy, said the response to the crash will be vital for the future of driverless cars and whether passengers are willing to ride in them. "The reality is we may work very hard as technology developers and end up with a technology that members of the public are uncomfortable with," Iagnemma said, speaking at an event in Cambridge last night.

Apple's secretive fleet of self-driving cars has almost doubled

Daily Mail

Apple seems to speeding ahead with its self-driving car program. The iPhone maker has nearly doubled its fleet of autonomous test vehicles in California over the last few months, according to the Financial Times. In January, Apple was operating 27 self-driving cars on the roads, but that number has since grown to 45 vehicles, data from California's Department of Motor Vehicles shows. The new report comes as some firms have suspended their autonomous driving tests following a fatal accident involving an Uber self-driving car this weekend. If Apple's fleet has increased this much, it has surged ahead of its rivals in terms of the size of its test fleet.

Uber's self-driving car just killed a pedestrian


Police in Tempe, Arizona, are investigating a fatal crash involving an autonomous Uber vehicle, according to a report from ABC15. The report claims Uber's self-driving car was in autonomous mode when it hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg Sunday night around 10 PM. She was walking her bicycle in the street outside designated crosswalks, and later died from her injuries at a local hospital. The vehicle was in autonomous mode, but there was a human operator in the driver's seat, 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez. Police have determined that neither the driver nor the victim were impaired, and the weather was clear.

Uber's New CEO Confronts His First Crisis With Driverless-Car Death WSJD - Technology

Perfecting the technology is essential to Uber, as autonomous vehicles could pare significant costs by replacing some 2.5 million human drivers and give it an edge in the technological race to upend personal and even commercial transportation. Uber is among auto makers and tech giants pursuing fully driverless cars on the belief they will ultimately save lives and costs. It isn't yet clear whether Uber is at fault, but the accident puts Mr. Khosrowshahi in a difficult position. Like his predecessor, Travis Kalanick, he has publicly touted Uber's driverless-car program, saying it could one day eliminate the need for people to own cars. He has even trumpeted flying taxis as a viable business in as soon as five years to shuttle people around cities.

Toyota pauses self-driving car testing amid Uber accident

Daily Mail

Toyota has suspended its'Chauffeur' self-driving car tests on public roads in the US, following the first ever death involving a fully autonomous vehicle. Citing Sunday evening's tragic incident, in which a Volvo SUV in autonomous mode struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, the firm says it is pausing the program with its test drivers' emotional well-being in mind, according to Bloomberg. At the time of the crash, a human backup driver was sitting behind the wheel to supervise the self-driving Uber's operations. Toyota has suspended its self-driving car tests following the first death involving an autonomous vehicle. Rafaela Vasquez was behind the wheel of the self-driving Volvo SUV which struck 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg.

Uber halts tests of self-driving cars after pedestrian is killed

Daily Mail

Uber's automated car which struck and killed a woman at 40mph did not show significant signs of slowing down, a spokesman for police has now confirmed. The firm has suspended all its self-driving tests after what is believed to be the first fatal pedestrian crash involving its vehicles. Automated driving had been taking place in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. Police in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe say one of Uber's self-driving vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian on Sunday night. Investigators said the Volvo SUV was in autonomous mode when the woman, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was hit.

Gatwick Airport to trial British self-driving car system from Oxbotica


Gatwick claims it will be the first airport to operate self-driving cars "airside", using a system from Oxford University spin-off Oxbotica. The vehicles will move staff around the airport, but at this stage, they will not be used by airline passengers. If the six-month trial is successful, the airport says it may use autonomous vehicles for other purposes, such as "aircraft push back tugs, passenger load bridges, baggage tugs and transportation buses". There are about 40 potential airport applications. Gatwick says it has 300 airside vehicles and that they are stationary 90 percent of the time.

Uber Suspends Driverless-Car Program After Pedestrian Death WSJD - Technology

In response, Uber on Monday temporarily pulled its self-driving cars off the roads where it has been testing them in four cities. An Uber spokeswoman said the company is investigating the incident and cooperating with authorities. Police in Tempe, Ariz., said the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety operator at the wheel when it hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg on Sunday night while she was walking her bicycle outside of a crosswalk. The woman later died from her injuries, according to a police statement. While it isn't clear yet whether Uber's vehicle was at fault in the accident, the fatality confirmed the fears of those who have warned for several years that someone would eventually die from driverless cars.

Uber Halts Autonomous Car Tests After Fatal Crash in Arizona


Uber Technologies Inc. halted autonomous vehicle tests after one of its cars struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in what is likely the first pedestrian fatality involving the technology. The 49-year-old woman, Elaine Herzberg, was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk when the Uber vehicle operating in autonomous mode under the supervision of a human safety driver struck her, according to the Tempe Police Department. After the incident, which happened at 10 p.m. local time on Sunday, she was transferred to a nearby hospital, where she died from her injuries. "Uber is assisting and this is still an active investigation," Liliana Duran, a Tempe police spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement. We're thinking of the victim's family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.

Female pedestrian dies in Arizona after being hit by Uber self-driving SUV, prompting halt in tests

The Japan Times

TEMPE, ARIZONA/SAN FRANCISCO – A woman crossing a street was killed by an Uber self-driving sport utility vehicle in Arizona, police said on Monday, prompting the ride services company to suspend its autonomous vehicle program. The accident in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe dealt a potential blow not only to Uber's strategy but the eventual roll-out of robot cars on public roads. It was the first fatality from a self-driving vehicle, which are being tested around the globe in a high-profile race by global automakers and tech companies expecting that autonomous vehicles will transform transportation and the ride services business. The vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel at the time of the accident, which occurred overnight Sunday to Monday, Tempe police said. "The vehicle was traveling northbound … when a female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle," police said in a statement.