Victim of self-driving Uber accident could be to blame, expert says


Tempe police have released two angles of a fatal crash involving a self-driving Uber SUV and a pedestrian on March 18, 2018. A self-driving Uber vehicle fatally struck a woman Sunday, March 18, 2018, in Tempe. PHOENIX -- The woman who was hit by a self-driving Uber vehicle this week in Arizona could be blamed for the incident, an expert said. Video released Wednesday of Sunday's accident in Tempe, Ariz., shows the car not appearing to brake or steer away from pedestrian Elaine Herzberg, 49, as she walked across an open lane and in front of the car. Herzberg appeared to be looking away from the oncoming vehicle, while an in-car camera shows Uber driver Rafaela Vasquez looking down at something below the dashboard, out of view of the camera, before the collision.

Baidu gets the green light to test self-driving cars on city streets in China

Daily Mail

China's capital city has given the green light to tech giant Baidu Inc to test self-driving cars on city streets, indicating strong support for the budding sector even as the industry reels from a fatal accident in the United States. Beijing's move is an important step as China looks to bolster its position in the global race for autonomous vehicles, where regulatory concerns have come into the spotlight since the crash earlier this month. The accident in Tempe, Arizona, involving an Uber self-driving car, was the first death attributed to a self-driving car operating in autonomous mode, and has ramped up pressure on the industry to prove its software and sensors are safe. China's capital city has given the green light to tech giant Baidu Inc to test self-driving cars on city streets, indicating strong support for the budding sector even as the industry reels from a fatal accident in the United States. Beijing has given Baidu, best known as China's version of search engine Google, a permit to test its autonomous vehicles on 33 roads spanning around 105 kilometres (65 miles) in the city's less-populated suburbs, the firm said in a statement.

Uber self-driving car death COULD have been avoided

Daily Mail

Uber's self-driving car crash that led to the death of a mother-of-two could have been avoided, according to driverless vehicle experts. Police in Arizona are still investigating the incident and have released footage of the moment Elaine Herzberg, 49, was hit by the self-driving Volvo SUV. Cortica, a firm that develops artificial intelligence for autonomous vehicles, has analysed the dash cam video. The company concludes the car, which failed to brake or swerve before the collision, had enough time to react and potentially save Ms Herzberg's life. Uber's self-driving car crash that led to the death of a mother-of-two could have been avoided, according to experts.

Now Uber faces being sued by daughter of the pedestrian killed by self-driving car

Daily Mail

The daughter of the woman killed by an Uber self-driving vehicle in Arizona has retained a personal injury lawyer, underlying the potential high stakes of the first fatality caused by an autonomous vehicle. The law firm of Bellah Perez in Glendale, Arizona, said in a statement it was representing the daughter of Elaine Herzberg, who died on Sunday night after being hit by the Uber self-driving SUV in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. The firm did not name her but'As

Uber's Fatal Crash, a Model 3 Review, and More Car News


If you've spent enough time with the people building self-driving cars, you'll know they've seen this coming for a while. No matter how good the tech, no matter how much better than humans it might be--eventually, everyone agreed, someone would be killed. Still, when a self-driving Uber struck and killed a 49-year-old woman named Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday, it felt awful. Video released by the Tempe Police Department this week doesn't tell the whole story, but indicates something went wrong with Uber's tech. And it raises a whole lot of fresh questions.

Analysis The Driverless Car is Already Here. What Comes Next?: QuickTake


On the roads, the autonomous age is moving from the future into the present. Cars that can drive themselves have already logged millions of miles, but with a driver poised to take over if needed. Waymo, a branch of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is offering commuters in Phoenix the ability to hail a Chrysler minivan without anyone behind the wheel. Audi expects to begin selling a version of its A8 sedan that can take over completely in traffic jams and similar situations. And next year, General Motors Co. has promised to put robot taxis into service.

Top robotics expert on Uber crash questions whether sensors worked


An Uber Technologies self-driving test vehicle like the one that hit a pedestrian in Arizona on Sunday night. SAN FRANCISCO -- One of the country's top self-driving car experts says that a recently released dashcam video suggests a failure of technology is at issue in the fatal Uber self-driving car incident that killed an Arizona woman. "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. "Clearly there's a problem, because the radar also should have picked her up throughout, she was moving," he says. "Maybe it's the sensors not working correctly or the hardware that processes it, or the software."

Who is responsible when a self-driving car kills someone?


Early Monday morning, an Uber-owned Volvo in autonomous mode struck and killed a pedestrian. The vehicle had a human driver behind the wheel when the tragedy occurred. This incident brings a sudden urgency to the moral quandary that ethicists have been discussing since before self-driving cars were a reality: Whose fault was this death? This is believed to be the first time a self-driving car has caused an accident fatal to a pedestrian. The closest thing we have to precedent is an incident in 2016, when a Tesla on autopilot caused an accident that killed its driver.

Baidu obtains plates to test autonomous cars on public roads in Beijing


Beijing's traffic authority has issued five plates to Baidu on Thursday, allowing the Chinese search engine giant to start testing self-driving vehicles developed by company on public roads. Temporary plates for autonomous driving tests are designated into five categories, ranging from T1 to T5. The five T3 plates obtained by Baidu on Thursday are so far the highest level of plates issued in China, and require the tested vehicles to possess comprehensive abilities including cognition and traffic law compliance, route execution, and emergency execution, according to a Sina news report. The Beijing traffic authority has set stringent requirements for autonomous driving tests on public roads in the city. All the tests are only allowed to be conducted on 33 roads with a total length of 105km outside the "fifth ring road" in Beijing, which is about 10km from the centre of the city.

Too Often, We Don't Regulate New Technologies Until Somebody Dies


Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. I rode in my first self-driving car in the summer of 1997, as part of a demonstration to display the technology in "the real world" on a stretch of Interstate 15 in San Diego. The organizers took great pains to carefully regulate the separate HOV lanes of the highway to ensure that there were barriers preventing all other cars--and pedestrians--from interfering. Everyone involved knew there was a significant amount of work to get from that demonstration to having self-driving cars safely navigate normal city streets. In the 20 years since, I've continued to study automated vehicles, particularly their history, and the technology has continued to develop.