Transportation


Uber self-driving car saw pedestrian but did not brake before crash

Daily Mail

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 maneuvers are not enabled while Uber's cars are under computer control'to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior'. Instead, Uber relies on a human backup driver to intervene but the system is not designed to alert the driver. Investigators examine a driverless Uber SUV that fatally struck a woman in Arizona. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while Uber's cars are under computer control In the crash in March, the driver Rafaela Vasquez 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.


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.


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.


Self-Driving Uber 'Saw' Pedestrian but Did Not Brake Before Fatal Crash, Investigators Say

TIME

The autonomous Uber SUV that struck and killed an Arizona pedestrian in March spotted the woman about six seconds before hitting her, but did not stop because the system used to automatically apply brakes in potentially dangerous situations had been disabled, according to federal investigators. In a preliminary report on the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that emergency braking is not enabled while Uber's cars are under computer control, "to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior." Instead, Uber relies on a human backup driver to intervene. The system, however, is not designed to alert the driver. In the crash, the driver began steering less than a second before impact but didn't brake until less than a second after impact, according to the preliminary report, which does not determine fault.


Americans now more fearful of self-driving cars, AAA survey shows

USATODAY

A Waymo self-driving van was involved in a car accident Friday afternoon in Chandler, Ariz. The self-driving van is not believed to be at fault, but this incident is still under investigation. U.S. drivers' fears of fully autonomous (self-driving) vehicles has risen in the past several months according to a new survey by AAA. Late last year a survey of American drivers revealed that 63% were wary of riding in a fully autonomous (self-driving) car. A new survey by AAA shows that nearly three-quarters (73%) now fear riding in a self-driving vehicle.


The End Of Parking Lots As We Know Them: Designing For A Driverless Future

Forbes Technology

Future commercial developments will include dedicated drop-off and pick-up zones for autonomous ride vehicles rather than on-site parking, according to design firm Gensler. A world in which robotic ride and delivery services are commonplace is years away, but what to do if you've got big-ticket commercial real estate projects in the works now? Turns out that future is already being baked in, according to the largest U.S. architecture firm. The full impact of self-driving vehicle technology will unfold over years, but Andy Cohen, the Los Angeles-based co-CEO for design firm Gensler, is convinced it will bring the end of parking structures as we know them, require more expansive building drop-off and pickup zones and more elaborate entry lobbies. Over time it opens up opportunities to reclaim curb space dedicated to metered parking and redevelop land in prime urban spots currently taken up by gas stations.


The Dirty Truth Coming for Self-Driving Cars

Slate

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. Who will clean self-driving vehicles? I found myself wondering this recently as my son and I tidied the family car after a road trip. We'd been driving for only five hours, but we had produced two grocery bags of trash: water bottles, parking stubs, wrappers from lunchtime hoagies, reading material, a roll of Scotch tape, and a ping-pong ball among other miscellany that had accumulated over the short time. In my family, I'm the one who remembers to clean out the car, so I'm all too familiar with the volume and medley of mess that can be generated in vehicle regularly used by adults and kids.


Uber's self-driving car saw the pedestrian but didn't swerve – report

The Guardian

An Uber self-driving test car which killed a woman crossing the street detected her but decided not to react immediately, a report has said. The car was travelling at 40mph (64km/h) in self-driving mode when it collided with 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg at about 10pm on 18 March. Herzberg was pushing a bicycle across the road outside of a crossing. She later died from her injuries. Although the car's sensors detected Herzberg, its software which decides how it should react was tuned too far in favour of ignoring objects in its path which might be "false positives" (such as plastic bags), according to a report from the Information.


Self-driving Uber likely killed woman because it ignored her

Daily Mail

Uber's self-driving technology software detected a woman as she was crossing the street with her bicycle in Arizona in March but failed to react immediately before she was fatally hit by an autonomous vehicle, according to the results of an internal investigation. The cameras, Lidar, and radar were all working properly on the semi-autonomous Volvo SUV as it was driving at normal speed on a highway in Tempe on the night of March 18. But the system did not react when it detected a woman walking across the highway since it was programmed to treat passing objects on the road such as plastic bags as'false positives' that ought to be ignored, according to the results of Uber's preliminary probe. Uber's self-driving technology software detected a woman as she was crossing the street with her bicycle in Arizona in March but failed to react immediately before she was fatally hit by an autonomous vehicle, according to the results of an internal investigation The Volvo SUV was in self-driving mode with a human back-up operator behind the wheel when a woman walking a bicycle was hit. Elaine Herzberg, 49, died in hospital.


MIT's MapLite brings self-driving vehicles to country roads

ZDNet

The development of self-driving vehicles is in full swing, but there are bumps in the road ahead. Companies including Google are testing full fleets of autonomous vehicles, but one of the major obstacles is that self-driving systems require maps of their environments in order to avoid objects, hazards, and to navigate safely. Driving-related objects, including stop signs, pedestrian crossings, curbs, and more must be mapped in order for self-driving vehicles to act in an appropriate manner on our roads. This requirement alone has limited self-driving car pilots to the major cities and towns in which technology firms and automakers are performing tests and investing in the creation of full 3D maps. However, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) hope that a new navigation system will free autonomous vehicles from city streets.