Last night a woman was struck by an autonomous Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona


#121

The interior view did show any headlights in the driver side window. The left lane seemed clear to me. I can see that stopping was out of the question. Not even a Porsche could stop in time.
But why didn’t the car steered to mitigate the damage?


#122

The more I read, the worse it looks for Uber. They couldn’t make their target of 1 driver intervention per 13 miles, while Waymo (Google’s project) made their target of 1 per 5,600 miles! Yikes!


#123

The problem with this new technology is (as usual) MANAGEMENT.

They are rushing this technology through. I don’t think it’s ready…and many others don’t either. But the longer they wait - the more money it’ll cost.


#124

Yes @MikeInNH, we seem to find ourselves in a time when FOMO on profits is the greatest enemy. Bike riders are collateral damage that insurance will deal with.


#125

will the world of autonomous vehicles make pedestrians more lax in their personal safety concerns?

I’ve seen the video, and in my opinion, this pedestrian should not have stepped out in front of this car. Her safety was up to her, and her ability to see the oncoming car (autonomous or not,) was far greater than the drivers ability to see her.

While this is an extremely sad and unfortunate event- and one the car should have been able to avoid- I don’t see how the pedestrian could have thought the car would see them and stop in time.

Will humans begin to deem themselves unhittable by autonomous vehicles? hmmmmm…


#126

I really can’t see pedestrians getting any more lax than they already are, especially around here. People step out in front of traffic all the time around here. I’m not sure what they are thinking. Growing up we were taught to 1. Obey traffic laws and 2. Always be aware and make sure car drivers see you before you step out.

It takes two people not paying attention to have an accident like this. The person crossing has as much obligation to pay attention as the person driving the car. I can’t tell you how many times I see someone walking on the shoulder with their back to traffic as well. You’ve just reduced your chances significantly if you’re not also watching for situations where you could be hit.

In my opinion, the comparative negligence assigned would go like this-
51% pedestrian for illegally crossing (on top of it in the dark!) and not paying attention. They placed themselves in harm’s way.
45% to Uber for not exercising proper care and taking evasive action where it should have been possible given the enhanced sensors on the car. Also, overburdening the human overseer by eliminating the second person that would normally be logging data etc and freeing the backup person to pay more attention.
and
4% to the person in the car, assigned to watch over the car and take control in these situations.

Unless more info comes to light, that’s my position/assessment.


#127

No doubt, the bike rider who died should not have been crossing that dark roadway but it amazes me that the highly hoopla’d AI controlled car was totally oblivious to the “obstruction” directly in its path. All the hoopla was was just a tin horn and drum played through Peavey speakers.


#128

The latest: turns out Uber disconnected the Volvo’s normal collision-prevention gear, which might have prevented or lessened the collision.


#129

Where did you see that? That’s pretty appalling if true. Not that appalling behavior from Uber would shock anyone.


#130

I agree it failed miserably and I’m sure they actually have reviewed the telemetry/sensor data by now and know why. It’s becoming clear as news trickles in that this particular company and their implementation were seriously lacking. I wouldn’t condemn all for the actions of one. There are far better systems out there that have good track record over many more logged miles…


#131

Right here:


#132

That’s not the whole story.

They disabled the VOLVO collision avoidance system and activated their own avoidance system.

https://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Uber-Disabled-Volvo-SUV-s-Standard-Safety-System-12782878.php

Not sure if the Volvo collision avoidance system would have detected the woman either (although I think it could have).


#133

Oh, I misread what you said in the first one. Yeah, I can see disabling the built-in stuff from Volvo. When you get two systems that are trying to do the same thing, they often start fighting with each other and create problems. I was thinking you meant all collision avoidance systems were offline.

That said, other reports show that Uber’s self-drive technology is worlds behind the competition, and so they probably shouldn’t have been relying on their own collision avoidance systems.


#134

Before Google technology or Volvo technology equipped vehicles were introduced to public roads, they had logged hundreds of thousands of hours in secluded test roads on their private property. Did Uber?


#135

Does Uber even own property? Their whole business model is “We don’t own anything, we make our employees buy it all themselves.”


#136

I dunno but we used to go after those “greedy” corporations like DuPont, Monsato, etc. as being criminals for some of the things they did. It appear now we have a whole new group of greedy corporate criminals that may end up doing more damage to the country than those old corporations. They include Uber, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. Scarry to have kids in T shirts in charge.


#137

What are the uber driver’s responsibilities?

Is he supposed to be watching the road, ready to take over?

Or is it okay for him to be looking down, as this guy seemed to be doing?

This question is from a legal standpoint

I’m not passing judgement, as I don’t know all the facts, and I wouldn’t be in a position to pass judgment, anyways


#138

Uber has insurance, for what it is worth my wife got rearended while sitting at a stoplight, 23 grand medical bills, whiplash, nerve ablation therapy etc., she wanted a lawyer, now the guy had 50k liability, the lawyer takes 33%, now the lawyer is going after our insurance for underinsured moterist as he wants a bigger payoff, only been 4 years now, aand you have probably seen theeir ads on TV. "Oh Yeh I got $150k, lawyer said we would be lucky to get $5k.


#139

I’m sure the driver was supposed to be alert and ready to take control, but as I said I think it was a stupid administrative decision to expect that. A person sitting there with nothing to do except watch the road and gauges and twiddle their thumbs, is not likely to be alert to be able to take immediate control. Especially in a split second situation. Just think how long it takes under normal circumstances with you hands on the wheel and foot on the floor, then imagine if you are just sitting there? Regardless of the software issue, the expectations of a back-up driver are non-sense. Just IMHO of course.


#140

As an Uber employee, Uber’s liable.