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.

Toyota halts self-driving program as Uber fatality ripples across autonomous car landscape


Tempe, Arizona police released video of the Uber Self-Driving SUV crash that killed a woman on Sunday. It shows a woman push her bicycle on a dark road and the human back-up driver's reaction.This video includes images some may find disturbing. Toyota unveiled the latest generation of its Lexus self-driving car at CES earlier this year. SAN FRANCISCO -- The ripple effect of a deadly incident involving an Uber self-driving car in Arizona widened Thursday as Toyota disclosed that it was pausing its autonomous car testing program. "For us it's about the well being of our (safety) drivers, because an incident like this can be jarring and they're out there every single day," Rick Bourgoise, communications manager with Toyota Research Institute, told USA TODAY.

Toyota halts robot-car tests citing drivers' emotional toll - Tech News The Star Online


Toyota Motor Corp halted tests of its "Chauffeur" autonomous driving system on US public roads after a Uber Technologies Inc vehicle operating in autonomous mode under the supervision of a human safety driver struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday evening. "Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have decided to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads," spokesman Brian Lyons said in an emailed statement, referring to its hands-off testing mode. The carmaker said it could not speculate on the cause of the crash or what it may mean to the future of the nascent automated driving sector. Toyota had been doing on-road testing with self-driving vehicles in Michigan and California, Lyons said. The company has kept the number of vehicles small so they could be rapidly updated as the technology advances, he said, declining to name a specific number of self-driving vehicles in operation.

Laser Technology To See Through Dense Fog While Driving Developed At MIT

International Business Times

Driving in foggy conditions is a major a cause of accidents during chilly seasons. Humans cannot see beyond a few meters and end up driving into a person or another vehicle shrouded in mist. The same goes for autonomous vehicles that combine sensor-based data with live image and video feeds and fail to determine the object sitting ahead on many occasions. However, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) may have found a permanent solution, a new laser-based imaging tech, to deal with the pressing problem -- be it a normal or self-driving car. The system fires short laser pulses from a sophisticated camera and measures the time they take to return to its sensor.

Dashcam video of deadly self-driving Uber crash released

FOX News

Raw video: Cameras mounted inside the car catches the fatal moment. Authorites are investigating the cause of the crash. Dashcam video was released Wednesday night showing the dramatic and deadly crash of a self-driving Uber SUV in Arizona -- as the woman operating the vehicle had her head down. Two angles -- interior and exterior camera footage -- were released by the Tempe Police Department. Officials did not release the moment the pedestrian, identified as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was hit, "due to the graphic nature of the impact."

Video Shows Moments Before Uber Robot Car Rammed Into Pedestrian WSJD - Technology

A newly released video of the fatal accident involving a pedestrian and an Uber Technologies Inc. self-driving car appears to show the vehicle heading straight into a woman walking her bike across the road without slowing down or swerving to avoid her. The video, collected by Tempe, Ariz., police from cameras inside and outside the Uber vehicle, appears to also show the human safety operator at the wheel was looking down for approximately five seconds before the moment of impact. This person's role is to take over controls to help prevent accidents or erratic driving from the robot vehicle. The fatality prompted Uber to temporarily pull its self-driving vehicles from four North American cities while investigators determine the circumstances. No charges have been filed and Tempe police on Wednesday said they are actively investigating Sunday night's accident and will submit their findings to the Maricopa County Attorney's office.

Video released of Uber self-driving crash that killed woman in Arizona

The Guardian

Video of the first self-driving car crash that killed a pedestrian showed how the autonomous Uber failed to slow down as it fatally hit a 49-year-old woman walking her bike across the street. The newly released footage of the collision that killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday night has raised fresh questions about why the self-driving car did not stop when a human entered its path and has sparked scrutiny of regulations in the state, which has encouraged testing of the autonomous technology. "It's just awful," Tina Marie Herzberg White, a stepdaughter of the victim, told the Guardian on Wednesday. "There should be a criminal case." Police have released two videos of the case – one outside and one showing the interior of the Volvo SUV.

Uber Video Show the Kind of Crash Self-Driving Cars Are Made to Avoid


The police have released video showing the final moments before an Uber self-driving car struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street, on Sunday night in Tempe, Arizona. The video includes views of the human safety driver and her view of the road, and it shows Herzberg emerging from the dark just seconds before the car hits her. And based on this evidence, it's difficult to understand why Uber's self-driving system--with its lidar laser sensor that sees in the dark--failed to avoid hitting Herzberg, who was slowly, steadily crossing the street, pushing a bicycle. "I think the sensors on the vehicles should have seen the pedestrian well in advance," says Steven Shladover, a UC Berkeley research engineer who has been studying automated systems for decades and watched the video. "If she had been moving erratically, it would have been difficult for the systems to predict where this person was going," he says, but the video shows no evidence of that.

New video shows self-driving Uber before fatally crashing into pedestrian


Warning: The video below contains footage which some readers may find disturbing. Police released a video Wednesday of the self-driving Uber vehicle that struck and killed a woman Sunday night in Tempe, Arizona. The video, below, shows Uber's self-driving vehicle's exterior view right before the crash. A quick glimpse of the woman killed, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, walking her bike can be seen. The moment she was hit is not shown because of what Tempe police called "the graphic nature of the impact."

Video shows Uber operator moments before self-driving car crash that killed pedestrian


Tempe police have released two angles of a fatal crash involving a self-driving Uber SUV and a pedestrian on Sunday, March 18. PHOENIX -- The Tempe Police Department on Wednesday released a video that shows the moments before a self-driving Uber vehicle fatally hit a 49-year-old woman. The crash, which occurred about 10 p.m. Sunday on a street in Tempe, is believed to be the nation's first pedestrian death involving an autonomous vehicle. Police said the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode when the crash happened. The vehicle had a backup operator behind the wheel, which is common in case the vehicle has to be taken out of self-driving mode.