Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Self-driving Uber ‘likely’ not at fault in pedestrian fatality"

From Boy Genius Report via the New York Post:
Uber’s reputation is still in a downward spiral, especially after the numerous scandals and lawsuits it had to face over the past year alone. The fact that an Uber self-driving car was the first such vehicle involved in a fatal accident won’t help either. But it looks like it’s not Uber’s fault, at least according to preliminary findings.

One of Uber’s autonomous Volvos killed a pedestrian on Sunday night in Tempe, Arizona — 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, announced a halt of the self-driving car pilot program in the wake of the incident, as the company and authorities launched independent investigations.

Tempe police now say the accident might have actually been Herzberg’s fault. The woman was crossing the street within 100 yards of a crosswalk. The Volvo, meanwhile, was traveling at 38 mph in a 35 mph zone on a Sunday night, and the human sitting in the driver’s seat made no attempt to break.

“It’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway,” Tempe police chief Sylvia Moir told the San Francisco Chronicle after viewing videos that recorded the accident....MORE