Uber's autonomous technology is a "catastrophic failure", warn experts

Herzberg, 49, was walking with her bicycle across a dark road in Tempe when she was struck and fatally wounded on March 18 by an Uber-operated Volvo SUV, which was engaged in autonomous mode.

Velodyne's Lidar sensors are used by a number of companies testing self-driving cars on public roads today.

Elcock said the video depicts the final seconds of the incident, which shows the vehicle hit Herzberg. 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.

As for the human backup driver, "even if the safety driver had been totally paying attention, there's an awkwardness with the machine if you're anticipating the machine is going to be able to handle a situation", Gartner analyst Mike Ramsey told Bloomberg.

According to Toyota, it would restart its tests of semi-autonomous cars on closed circuits.

"[The pedestrian] wasn't jumping out of the bushes". By the time she looks up and reacts, the vehicle hits the victim. A full investigation has not yet been completed.

The public's image of the vehicles will be defined by stories like the crash in Tempe, said Bryant Walker Smith, a University of SC law professor who studies self-driving vehicles.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its systems. That suite includes automatic emergency braking with large animal detection.

The NY Times also published a piece today which argues that, compared to competitors like Google, Uber's autonomous cars are not performing almost as well.

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The video includes footage from a dashboard camera showing a view outside the auto, as well as a view of the operator employed by Uber sitting behind the wheel of the vehicle and take over if the autonomous system does not work as intended.

Uber and other technology-driven companies claim that self-driving cars will be safer because no humans will be in control.

"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.

"Our cars remain grounded, and we're assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can", the statement added. The vehicle, which was piloted by a trained Uber employee, Rafaela Vasquez, was going 38 miles per hour in a 35 miles per hour zone.

The footage released Wednesday by police came a day after Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir told a newspaper that the SUV likely wouldn't be found at fault.

He said the biggest value in those tests is gaining experience with other vehicles on the roads.

However the Associated Press talked to two experts who viewed the footage and said that the car's sensors should have picked up the pedestrian in time to brake.

Richelsoph says moving forward, this case will bring new policy decisions. but he does believe Uber was prepared for something like this to happen, as they test out the new technology.


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