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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.


Tesla in fatal California crash was on Autopilot

BBC News

Electric carmaker Tesla says a vehicle involved in a fatal crash in California was in Autopilot mode, raising further questions about the safety of self-driving technology. One of the company's Model X cars crashed into a roadside barrier and caught fire on 23 March. Tesla says the 38-year-old driver, who died shortly afterwards, had activated Autopilot moments before the accident. But they did not say whether the system had detected the concrete barrier. "The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive," a statement on the company's website said.


Race to robot cars continues after fatal crash

Daily Mail

The race to perfect robot cars continues despite fears kindled by the death of a woman hit by a self-driving Uber vehicle while pushing a bicycle across an Arizona street. Uber put a temporary halt to its self-driving car program in the US after the fatal accident this month near Phoenix, where several other companies including Google-owned Waymo are testing such technology. While the Uber accident may be used to advance arguments of those fearful of driverless cars, it does not change the fact that'transformative technology is coming whether we like it or not,' according to Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington. Pilot models of the Uber self-driving car, pictured in 2016 before one of the autonomous vehicles killed a woman in Arizona. 'There certainly will be calls to stop all autonomous vehicle testing, not just Uber's program,' Tomer said in a post on the institution's website.


Experts Say Human Driver Could Have Avoided Fatal Uber Accident

International Business Times

A fatal crash that occurred when an autonomous SUV operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian could have better been avoided if a human was in control of the vehicle, some experts believe. Footage of the incident, which occurred on Sunday in Tempe, Arizona, and resulted in the death of 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was released by the local police Wednesday. Experts have suggested that Uber's self-driving technology should have been able to avoid the crash and failed to do so. Experts believe a human driver could have avoided a fatal accident involving Uber's self-driving SUV. The video includes footage from a dashboard camera showing a view outside the car, as well as a view of the operator employed by Uber sitting behind the wheel of the vehicle and take over if the autonomous system does not work as intended.


Uber crash shows 'catastrophic failure' of self-driving technology, experts say

The Guardian

Video of the first self-driving car crash that killed a pedestrian suggests a "catastrophic failure" by Uber's technology, according to experts in the field, who said the footage showed the autonomous system erring on one of its most basic functions. Days after a self-driving Uber SUV struck a 49-year-old pedestrian while she was crossing the street with her bicycle in Tempe, Arizona, footage released by police revealed that the vehicle was moving in autonomous mode and did not appear to slow down or detect the woman even though she was visible in front of the car prior to the collision. Multiple experts have raised questions about Uber's Lidar technology, which is the system of lasers that the autonomous cars uses to "see" the world around them. "This is exactly the type of situation that Lidar and radar are supposed to pick up," said David King, an Arizona State University professor and transportation planning expert. "This is a catastrophic failure that happened with Uber's technology."


Uber's transparency is key to making self-driving cars safer

Engadget

As a result of this incident, Uber has stopped all self-driving vehicle tests in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and the greater Phoenix area. "Our hearts go out to the victim's family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident," said Uber in a statement. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi echoed the sentiment on Twitter, saying that the authorities were trying to figure out what happened. We're thinking of the victim's family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.


Uber and Toyota in talks to join forces on self-driving technology

Daily Mail

Uber is discussing the possibility of installing its self-driving system in Toyota vehicles as the U.S. ride-hailing firm seeks to sell its autonomous driving technology to outside companies, the Nikkei reported on Friday. Without citing sources, the Japanese business daily said that the firms are negotiating a possible deal for Toyota to use Uber's automated driving technology in one of the automaker's minivan models. According to the report, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi met with Toyota executives in the United States this week. Uber is discussing the possibility of installing its self-driving system in Toyota vehicles as the U.S. ride-hailing firm seeks to sell its autonomous driving technology to outside companies. A display from Toyota's own self-driving prototype is pictured Toyota, which is developing its own automated driving functions, has said it is open to collaborating with other firms to quickly bring new mobility technologies to market.


Lyft, Magna in Deal to Develop Hardware, Software for Self-Driving Cars

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The companies plan to produce kits that can be installed on existing cars to enable them to operate autonomously, said Raj Kapoor, Lyft's chief strategy officer. Retrofitting cars, as opposed to building new ones, could help the company produce autonomous vehicles more quickly and inexpensively, he said. The announcement Wednesday adds to Lyft's extensive roster of self-driving-vehicle partners, which includes Ford Motor Co.; General Motors Co.; Alphabet's Waymo; nuTonomy Inc.; Tata Motors Ltd.'s Jaguar Land Rover; and Aptiv PLC, formerly Delphi. That stands in contrast to rival Uber Technologies Inc., which is primarily developing self-driving technology on its own rather than forging partnerships. Lyft's goal is to plug autonomous cars from partners into its network.