self-driving car

Here’s the fundamental flaw with self-driving cars: Humans


The safety driver in a self-driving Uber was not being very safe -- aka, not paying attention -- when the vehicle in autonomous mode struck and killed a woman in an Arizona city earlier this year, police records show. Included in a massive Tempe Police Department report this week were details about the March 18 fatal crash. The 318-page report found that Rafaela Vasquez, the 44-year-old driver, was frequently looking down and even smiling and laughing at what appears to be a cellphone streaming an episode of the talent search show, The Voice. In the moments before the test vehicle hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was walking her bicycle across a Tempe, Arizona, road, the test driver, Vasquez, was apparently streaming the TV show through Hulu. A video of the moments before the crash shows Vasquez looking toward her right knee while occasionally looking up and around.

Driver was streaming The Voice when Uber self-driving car crashed, say police

The Guardian

The "safety" driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber that hit and killed a pedestrian was streaming the television show The Voice on her phone at the time of the crash, police have said. The collision that killed Elaine Herzberg, 49, who was crossing the road at night in Tempe, Arizona, was "entirely avoidable", a police report said, if Rafaela Vasquez had been paying attention. Instead she repeatedly looked down at her phone, glancing up just a half second before the car hit Herzberg. Police said she could faces charges of vehicle manslaughter, but it would be for prosecutors to decide. The Uber car was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash, but Uber, like other self-driving car developers, requires a back-up driver in the car to intervene when the autonomous system fails or a tricky driving situation occurs.

Uber Driver Was Streaming Hulu Show Just Before Self-Driving Car Crash

International Business Times

Police in Tempe, Arizona said evidence showed the "safety" driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber was distracted and streaming a television show on her phone right up until about the time of a fatal accident in March, deeming the crash that rocked the nascent industry "entirely avoidable." A 318-page report from the Tempe Police Department, released late Thursday in response to a public records request, said the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, repeatedly looked down and not at the road, glancing up just a half second before the car hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street at night. According to the report, Vasquez could face charges of vehicle manslaughter. Police said that, based on testing, the crash was "deemed entirely avoidable" if Vasquez had been paying attention. Police obtained records from Hulu, an online service for streaming television shows and movies, which showed Vasquez's account was playing the television talent show "The Voice" the night of the crash for about 42 minutes, ending at 9:59 p.m., which "coincides with the approximate time of the collision," the report says.

Massachusetts Welcomes Self-Driving Cars--With a Couple Caveats


Before a self-driving Uber killed a pedestrian one night in March, Arizona was an autonomous vehicle developer's paradise. Governor Doug Ducey piloted a no-rules approach to regulation, trusting developers like Uber, Waymo, and General Motors would ensure the safety of their tech. After the deadly crash, Ducey--who proceeded to ban Uber's self-driving cars from public roads--wasn't the only public official who underwent an attitude adjustment. Boston city officials quietly asked companies to pause testing. Cars came off the roads in Pittsburgh and California.

Can Self-Driving Cars Handle Boston's Infamously Congested and Confusing Streets?


Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. Boston drivers, pedestrians, bikers, and T riders will soon share the road with self-driving vehicles. The city announced in a statement Wednesday that it has granted permission for Boston-based autonomous vehicle company nuTonomy to test its fleet of autonomous cars on all city roads. The company had previously been limited to testing its cars in the Seaport, a neighborhood downtown that's largely nonresidential. Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh said, "If deployed thoughtfully, shared fleets of autonomous vehicles could offer the City of Boston the potential to improve safety on our streets, provide equitable connections to the MBTA, and offer a new source of mobility to all Boston residents."

Volkswagen SEDRIC Prototype: Riding in VW's Self-Driving Car - Motor Trend


Motor Trend will never publish a First Drive review on the Volkswagen SEDRIC. That's because the SEDRIC, which Volkswagen Group is currently evaluating for launch sometime after 2023, is a completely autonomous vehicle. It has no steering wheel. You just call it up on your smartphone and tell it where you are and where you want to go. When it arrives, get in, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Beyond Self-Driving Cars: 12 Upcoming Innovations In Transportation And Travel

Forbes Technology

For decades, the self-driving car was an unrealized technological dream. Though much research has been conducted and many prototypes have been developed over the years, it wasn't until very recently that truly functional autonomous consumer vehicles moved into the realm of possibility. Though there's still a long way before the wider general public starts using self-driving cars, that hasn't stopped tech companies from beginning to develop the next innovations in transportation. Here are 12 candidates for the "next big thing" in travel, according to Forbes Technology Council. Companies have been working on a flying drone car that will look like a mini helicopter.

33 Industries Other Than Auto That Driverless Cars Could Turn Upside Down


Fast food, real estate, military operations, even home improvement -- many large industries will have to shift their strategies in the wake of driverless cars. It's all but a certainty that autonomous or driverless vehicles will be widely used in the United States at some point over the next two decades. Already, over two dozen major corporates including Google, Apple and Mercedes Benz are hard at work building their own self-driving vehicles. Tesla's Model S already includes an autopilot mode where the car drives itself on highways. Car ownership and driving habits are being completely reinvented. We'll explore the growing number of mobility technologies that are set to transform the current transportation ecosystem.

Why Ford Is Buying Detroit's Derelict Central Depot


Newspapers and magazines do this thing that drives Detroiters crazy. Maybe Detroit is coming back, maybe crime is falling, maybe a few neighborhoods are seeing a resurgence, maybe it's all a bit more complicated than a few statistics make it seem. But editors generally use a particular photo to symbolize the city: the gorgeous but abandoned and ill-used Central Depot. The station feels like a symbol because it is. When it opened in 1913, the grand 18-story office tower, its cavernous waiting room fronted by looming Corinthian columns, was the tallest rail station in the world.

Instead Of Ten-Figure Funding, This Robotaxi Startup Has Actual Customers


Voyage recently announced its 2nd gen self-driving taxi, and a fleet partnership with Enterprise. Among the big auto Goliaths and their swollen check-writing wrists, there's a little startup armed with a slingshot and bragging rights. That startup is Voyage, and it has some lessons to teach the mobility sector. The team who spun out of Udacity's self-driving car nanodegree program has raised just over $20M to date, per CEO Oliver Cameron. For reference, that's two orders of magnitude smaller than the last investment round announced by GM's Cruise.