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.

UK self-driving car trials to continue despite US pedestrian death

Daily Mail

Self-driving car trials are to continue in the UK despite mounting concerns over safety after an Uber autonomous vehicle struck and killed a US pedestrian in Arizona this week. The country's biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, pushed ahead with trials of its autonomous vehicles in the Midlands yesterday despite warnings that the public are being treated like'human guinea pigs' during driverless car tests. The trial, launched less than 48 hours after the fatal accident on Sunday, is believed to be the first time a self-driving car has been used on open, public roads. The firm is expected to demonstrate more of the cars' features, including an emergency braking system, on urban streets in further tests this week. Britain's biggest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover, pushed ahead with trials of its autonomous vehicles (file photo) in the Midlands yesterday despite warnings that the public are being treated like'human guinea pigs' during driverless car tests A self-driving Range Rover Sport drove itself through the centre of Milton Keyes on Tuesday before parking and driving off again, as part of a government-backed trial.

Uber self-driving car kills a pedestrian. Could this happen where I live?


Uber is confirming that one of its self-driving vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in the Phoenix metro area Sunday night. Company officials say Uber is halting all of its self-driving testing as of Monday as the investigation continues. A handout photo from Uber shows one of its Volvo self-driving SUVs in a desert setting. One of the company's vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday night. The death of an Arizona pedestrian by a self-driving car has resurfaced concerns that this futuristic technology is too risky to test in public places.

Arizona Governor Helped Make State 'Wild West' For Driverless Cars


An Uber driverless car heads out for a test drive in San Francisco in December 2016, the same month that the company halted testing there and moved it to Arizona. An Uber driverless car heads out for a test drive in San Francisco in December 2016, the same month that the company halted testing there and moved it to Arizona. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey began a push three years ago to attract makers of self-driving cars to the state and actively wooed Uber away from California as a venue for testing those vehicles. Shortly after his election in 2015, the governor signed an executive order supporting the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles that he said was about "innovation, economic growth, and most importantly, public safety." Now the "public safety" part of that order has been thrown into question and Arizona's willingness to become a testing ground for emerging driverless vehicles has come into sharp focus after Sunday's incident in which a self-driving Volvo SUV operated by Uber struck and killed a 49-year-old woman who was walking her bicycle in Tempe.

Uber Suspends Driverless-Car Program After Pedestrian Death WSJD - Technology

In response, Uber on Monday temporarily pulled its self-driving cars off the roads where it has been testing them in four cities. An Uber spokeswoman said the company is investigating the incident and cooperating with authorities. Police in Tempe, Ariz., said the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety operator at the wheel when it hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg on Sunday night while she was walking her bicycle outside of a crosswalk. The woman later died from her injuries, according to a police statement. While it isn't clear yet whether Uber's vehicle was at fault in the accident, the fatality confirmed the fears of those who have warned for several years that someone would eventually die from driverless cars.

Uber Halts Autonomous Car Tests After Fatal Crash in Arizona


Uber Technologies Inc. halted autonomous vehicle tests after one of its cars struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in what is likely the first pedestrian fatality involving the technology. The 49-year-old woman, Elaine Herzberg, was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk when the Uber vehicle operating in autonomous mode under the supervision of a human safety driver struck her, according to the Tempe Police Department. After the incident, which happened at 10 p.m. local time on Sunday, she was transferred to a nearby hospital, where she died from her injuries. "Uber is assisting and this is still an active investigation," Liliana Duran, a Tempe police spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement. We're thinking of the victim's family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.

Despite deadly crash, no signs that all Arizona autonomous car tests are being frozen

FOX News

An Arizona woman was killed after being struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle, an incident believed to be the first of its kind. But Uber is not the only company that has experienced accidents with driverless cars. Companies like Google, Tesla and General Motors also join the list. Uber has suspended tests of its autonomous cars on public roads in Arizona in the wake of a deadly crash involving one of the vehicles in Tempe, but it's not yet clear if other automakers will follow suit or be forced to do so by the state government. The incident unfolded late Sunday when 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck by a 2017 Volvo XC90 SUV equipped with Uber's autonomous technology as she was walking her bicycle across a four-lane street midblock, outside of any crosswalk.

Female pedestrian dies in Arizona after being hit by Uber self-driving SUV, prompting halt in tests

The Japan Times

TEMPE, ARIZONA/SAN FRANCISCO – A woman crossing a street was killed by an Uber self-driving sport utility vehicle in Arizona, police said on Monday, prompting the ride services company to suspend its autonomous vehicle program. The accident in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe dealt a potential blow not only to Uber's strategy but the eventual roll-out of robot cars on public roads. It was the first fatality from a self-driving vehicle, which are being tested around the globe in a high-profile race by global automakers and tech companies expecting that autonomous vehicles will transform transportation and the ride services business. The vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel at the time of the accident, which occurred overnight Sunday to Monday, Tempe police said. "The vehicle was traveling northbound … when a female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle," police said in a statement.

Uber's Self-Driving Car Just Killed Somebody in Arizona. Now What?


At about 10 pm on Sunday evening, a self-driving Uber struck and killed a woman crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona. The crash appears to be the first time a self-driving vehicle has killed someone--and could alter the course of a scantily regulated, poorly understood technology that has the power to save lives and create fortunes. The Tempe Police Department reports the Volvo XC90 SUV was in autonomous mode when the crash occurred, though the car had a human safety driver behind the wheel to monitor the technology and retake control in the case of an emergency or imminent crash. The woman, Elaine Herzberg, was transported to a local hospital, where she died from her injuries. The police department will complete its full report later today.

GM pours $100 million into facilities for building self-driving cars


General Motors said on Thursday it will invest more than $100 million in two facilities as it prepares to build production versions of its Cruise self-driving car next year at its Orion Township assembly plant in Michigan. The largest U.S. automaker also said roof modules for GM's self-driving vehicles will be assembled at its Brownstown Battery Assembly plant. In January, GM filed a petition seeking U.S. government approval for a fully autonomous car – one without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal – to enter the automaker's first commercial ride-sharing fleet in 2019. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been reviewing the petition for more than two months and has not yet deemed it "complete" – a step before it releases details of the proposal. A final decision might not come until later this year or 2019.