The head of Mobileye said its computer vision system would have detected the pedestrian who was killed in Arizona by a self-driving Uber vehicle, and called for a concerted move to validate the safety of autonomous vehicles. A couple weeks before Uber’s fatal encounter, Ducey approved the use of autonomous vehicles without safety drivers – although the Uber auto involved in the incident had a person at the wheel.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik told auto dealers at a gathering of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) in Las Vegas that the company was well on its way to its goal of decreasing motor vehicle fatalities.
Meanwhile, advocates of autonomous cars contend they have the potential to make roads safer by avoiding mistakes made by human drivers. The accident raised concern among some segments of the public who fear the technology may not be ready for public roads. “I also want to recognise the fact that there are many different investigations going on now regarding what happened in Tempe on Sunday”.
Smith said the video 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”. Herzberg was walking a bicycle across the road, outside of the crosswalk, when the accident occurred.
Waymo is testing its self-driving fleet in parts of Phoenix, where autonomous taxis are shuttling some members of the public. The company hasn’t said when it will start operating them on public roads again. Mobileye said it was able to detect Herzberg one second before impact in its internal tests, despite the poor second-hand quality of the video relative to a direct connection to cameras equipped to the auto. Among those observations is one related to the difficulties presented in interpreting sensor information.
The vehicle was in autonomous mode when the accident happened, making it the first death in the USA to result from a self-driving auto. Investigators from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were on the ground last Tuesday, examining the vehicle involved and the accident site. But the company and some observers have also argued that the pedestrian appeared to be walking outside of a marked crosswalk; to have shown inadequate caution and been oblivious to the oncoming vehicle; and to have moved into the field of view too quickly for human or auto to react.
Uber declined to comment. “The great tragedy would be if we have a technology that can save thousands of lives, and it’s not able to enter the market”. “Our cars remain grounded, and we’re assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can”.