Uber Self-Driving SUV got into a Fatal Collision

Why it matters: Companies rushing to commercialize vehicle automation are testing experimental systems on public roads. "And Uber's human drivers had to intervene far more frequently than the drivers of competing autonomous vehicle projects".

Tempe police have identified the driver as 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez.

The video shows the vehicle traveling in the right-hand lane of a divided four-lane roadway. Out of approximately 13 seconds of that recording, the driver was looking down and away from the road for about 10 seconds. So says Marta Thoma Hall, president of the company that supplied the car's lidar sensors, Velodyne Lidar Inc., reports Bloomberg. Police are still investigating whether or not Uber is at fault, although Police Chief Sylvia Moir initially told The Arizona Republic that the accident was likely "unavoidable".

Toyota unveiled the latest generation of its Lexus self-driving vehicle at CES earlier this year.

The crash occurred along a particularly risky stretch of road for pedestrians. "In the meantime they will be killing more people".

Herzberg is believed to be the first pedestrian killed by a self-driving vehicle in the USA, which quickly caused the incident to make national headlines.

According to US statistics, more than 94 per cent of all road collisions are due to human error. The Self Drive Act, voted in September by the House of Representatives, provides for the test of 100,000 autonomous vehicles on American roads within three years.

In this clip, the scene of the accident comes up at about 33 seconds. "How many lives might we be losing if we wait?"

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Tempe this week to collect evidence on the fatal incident.

The company said its system detected Herzberg 0.9 seconds before impact when the vehicle was about 50 feet away.

The respective crash rates of autonomous vehicles "can only be determined by also knowing how many non-collisions happen", wrote human factors researcher Peter Hancock in a February essay.

The video, Smith said, may not show the complete picture, but "this is strongly suggestive of multiple failures of Uber and its system, its automated system, and its safety driver".

Uber's self-driving auto crash that led to the death of a mother-of-two could have been avoided, according to driverless vehicle experts. In 2016, a man had already died driving a Tesla Model S, while the autopilot was activated.

Those who study autonomous technology were mixed on whether the driver would've been able to react to Herzberg crossing the road.

A representative for Uber declined to comment on the conviction and the company's hiring policies, citing an active investigation.

Uber-the massively successful ride-hailing technology startup-suspended its North American self-driving testing operations on Monday. This accident arises a question about the development and testing of self-driving vehicles which are said to be safer than the human-driven cars.

  • Zachary Reyes