Other Views: Use caution, not hysteria, after Uber self-driving car fatality

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

New video of the fatal crash involving a self-driving Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona, shows a failure of the expected performance of the autonomous vehicle's technology, according to experts.

A self-driving Uber SUV drives down a Tempe, Ariz., street at night as the human backup driver looks down at her lap, occasionally glancing out the windshield, a dashcam video shows.

Following the crash, Uber suspended its road tests around the U.S. and Canada in cities including Pittsburgh, Phoenix, San Francisco and Toronto.

The video, taken from inside the Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle that Uber has used for testing, shows the vehicle driving along a dark road when an image of a woman walking a bicycle across the road suddenly appears in the headlights. "Our cars remain grounded, and we're assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can", the company said in a statement.

Tempe Police Sergeant Ronald Elcock said: "The pedestrian was outside of the crosswalk".

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It doesn't bother me, I like to know what is going on". "I might have a chat to him around what's gone on", Smith said. Smith continued: "The other person involved not getting asked about it is pretty interesting, I thought".

The cyclist, Elaine Herzberg, died following the incident.

- The fatal accident involving a self-driving Uber vehicle is raising new questions about who's to blame when technology is controlling a auto.

The video also included footage of the Uber backup driver who monitors the vehicle's operation from behind the wheel while the computers drive. Lidar, or "laser radar", quite literally makes its own light by shooting a laser down the road and detecting any reflections that bounce off obstructions. Appears being the operative word here as it's not known what she was looking down at.

Also in question was the human driver, who wasn't operating the vehicle because it was in automatic mode.

Each was equipped with 20 cameras, seven lasers, GPS, lidar and radar equipment, all of which should in theory ensure that the auto is safe and fully "aware" of its surroundings, including pedestrians.

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Gov. Doug Ducey has been a supporter of self-driving technology, and signed two executive orders that helped bring both Uber and Waymo to Arizona.

Uber hasn't commented on what, if anything, its self-driving car's sensors recorded that night. "And as soon as she walked into the lane of traffic, she was struck by the vehicle". Their spokeswoman released a statement on the accident saying, "Our hearts go out to the victim's family", and that Uber is "fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident".

"It's just very bad", says Tina Marie Herzberg White, a stepdaughter of the victim."There should be a criminal case", she adds. 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".

"The idea that the video absolves Uber is essentially incorrect", Calo said.

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