Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Uber Settles With Family of Pedestrian Killed by Its Self-Driving Car

Uber Settles With Family of Pedestrian Killed by Its Self-Driving Car Uber Settles With Family of Pedestrian Killed by Its Self-Driving Car
Jodi Jackson | 30 March, 2018, 00:44

Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking her bicycle across an intersection late in the evening of March 18 when she was struck by the autonomous vehicle, police said.

A spokesperson for Uber declined to comment.

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. The exact nature of "autonomous mode" at that time has not been clarified by Uber.

Did Governor Ducey allow Uber to test self-driving cars in secret?

The National Transportation Safety Board, the National Highway Traffic Administration, as well as the Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit are still investigating the accident.

Uber has marked that it has suspended its autonomous vehicle testing operations indefinitely in Arizona, California, and Toronto.

Other footage showed that in the seconds before the accident, the human driver who was behind the wheel was mostly looking down and not at the road.

The email exchanges fill in the gaps between what Ducey was saying publicly since taking office in early 2015 and what was happening behind the scenes as his administration helped Uber set up shop in the state and then launch its driverless auto testing program.

A Ducey executive order in August 2015 welcomed self-driving vehicles, promising light state oversight.

Uber tested about 29 vehicles in California at one time, whereas it gathered data from roughly 200 vehicles across Arizona, California, Ontario, and Pennsylvania.

The departure followed a fatal crash involving an Uber self-driving vehicle in Tempe, Ariz.

Update 3/28, 3:26 PM: Updated with comment from the Arizona governor's office.

Gov. Doug Ducey staged a PR spectacle to to welcome Uber to Arizona. Uber also pulled an application to renew its permit for testing autonomous vehicles in California.

A few days ago, in my mini-jeremiad against Uber, I said, "They're exactly the kind of company that would cut corners: cheap optics, lousy safety drivers, pushing to drive at night before the software is ready, etc". While the full ramifications of this incident continue to evolve, this cessation of testing will likely slow development by companies other than Uber as well.

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