April 23, 2018

Uber SUV's autonomous system should have seen woman

24 March 2018, 01:39 | Lionel James

Tempe police have released dash camera footage from a deadly crash involving an autonomous vehicle

Tempe police have released dash camera footage from a deadly crash involving an autonomous vehicle

In the video, it appears that the autonomous auto failed to slow down or move to avoid Elaine Herzberg, who was walking her bike across the road.

Police have released dashcam footage of the moment a self-driving Uber struck a woman crossing a road, who later died of her injuries.

Video of a fatal pedestrian crash involving a self-driving Uber vehicle that some experts say exposes flaws in autonomous vehicle technology is prompting calls to slow down testing on public roads and renewing concerns about regulatory readiness.

Authorities in Tempe, Arizona, have released footage of a fatal crash involving an autonomous Volvo operated by Uber.

Vasquez appears shocked as she sees the pedestrian at the last second.

"The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine's loved ones", an Uber spokesperson said in a recent statement. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians struck by vehicles going 30 miles per hour are killed about 40 percent of the time.

Herzberg is believed to be the first pedestrian killed by a self-driving vehicle in the US, which quickly caused the incident to make national headlines. It depicts a dark night, a figure that emerges a couple of seconds before the crash, and a seemingly distracted human safety driver, Rafaela Vasquez. While cameras do not perform well in the dark, radar and Lidar can work at night. Then it was reported that the victim of the accident along with a bike crossed the road in the wrong place, and the crosswalk was just 90 metres from the place of collision. The video also captures the moment Vasquez saw the collision happening.

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"They've been testing in the real world for long enough to have plenty of data to recreate any conditions they need", he said.

"The sensors should have detected the pedestrian in this case; the cameras were likely useless but both the radars and the Lidar must have picked up the pedestrian", said Raj Rajkumar, a professor at Carnegie Mellon.
Ducey took the state's first self-driving Uber ride in February 2017, and added the line that "California may not want you, but Arizona does".

"If you or I go to get our drivers license, we have to pass an eye exam and show some basic understanding of the rules of the road".

Along with its video, Tempe police issued a statement about the ongoing investigation into what happened in the Arizona city.

New cars come equipped with safety systems. The company said all drivers must undergo a third-party background screening "per Uber safety policies and Colorado state regulations".

Until questions are answered about why the sensors in the vehicle didn't "see" the woman and her bicycle, Uber is suspending the operation of its driverless vehicles. Uber said it was "fully cooperating" with authorities.

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