Uber dismantles Arizona self-driving vehicle program following fatal March crash

Polycount

Posts: 2,516   +549
Staff member

Public trust in the future of self-driving vehicles has dropped following a flurry of autonomous car crashes in recent months.

One of these tragic accidents occurred during March in Tempe, Arizona. At the time, a self-driving Uber vehicle taking part in the company's manned autonomous car program struck cyclist Elaine Herzberg, causing her to die from her injuries.

Initially, Tempe police felt Uber would not be at fault in the scenario. Dashcam footage of the crash seemed to reveal that Herzberg appeared in front of the vehicle quite suddenly, suggesting the pilot or the vehicle itself may not have had time to stop.

However, we later reported the car's autonomous sensors may have been improperly tuned, leading them to view Herzberg as a false positive. An example of a true false positive (or something not worth stopping over) would be a floating plastic bag or a piece of cardboard on the road.

Naturally, Uber was quick to temporarily suspend their self-driving car program at the behest of Arizona's governor.

Now, it seems Uber is avoiding the risk of a fatal collision entirely by shutting down their Arizona operations until further notice, though an internal memo claims the shut down is not necessarily permanent.

"We’re committed to self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the near future," Uber said in a statement. "In the meantime, we remain focused on our top-to-bottom safety review, having brought on former NTSB Chair Christopher Hart to advise us on our overall safety culture."

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Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,058   +634
may have been improperly tuned, leading them to view Herzberg as a false positive
Um wtf??? So a dog or anything smaller than a bike rider is automatically "garbage" too? HOW DID THEY TUNE IT???
 
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Skjorn

Posts: 557   +408
may have been improperly tuned, leading them to view Herzberg as a false positive
Um wtf??? So a dog or anything smaller than a bike rider is automatically "garbage" too? HOW DID THEY TUNE IT???
I know.....so if it is a board with nails in it you just plow right over it when a human driver can see these things clearly. Too many variables for self driving cars on today's roadways.
 

J spot

Posts: 234   +158
I don't like Uber, since they just don't seem to have morals. Now they seem to be jumping on self driving car bandwagon, forcing themselves in, and the result is a black eye for the whole industry who's doing it right.
 
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Brock Kane

Bet there were a lot more drivers killed by "human" drivers that same day!
 
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Brock Kane

may have been improperly tuned, leading them to view Herzberg as a false positive
Um wtf??? So a dog or anything smaller than a bike rider is automatically "garbage" too? HOW DID THEY TUNE IT???
I know.....so if it is a board with nails in it you just plow right over it when a human driver can see these things clearly.
Human drivers are more distracted by their phones.
 
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Brock Kane

You are a special one...of course more people get killed by human drivers.... the ratio of Autonomous to Human operated vehicles explains this clearly.....just wow...
How many plane crashes are the fault of computers? You'll find that 90% are human error! Just saying! Most if not all commercial airlines are flown by computers. Pilots in a sense, are just passengers!
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,392   +5,830
I agree with their temporary suspension until they can definitively determine the cause, and correct it; but to abandon the program in a state is very premature and makes them look guilty ......
 

Milkyjoe

Posts: 48   +28
They need to create new rules until the problems are fixed for example only use automatic drive for 20 mins on/off but you have to be paying attention like your driving not using your phone. They can they collect the data from any problems that come up from driver feedback.
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,655   +1,457
I agree with their temporary suspension until they can definitively determine the cause, and correct it; but to abandon the program in a state is very premature and makes them look guilty ......
I guess they were...at least of stupid...they turned the emergency braking system OFF!!