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Would a self driving car world make it safe for cyclists?

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Would a self driving car world make it safe for cyclists?

Old 03-23-18, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
But, more importantly, the Uber car was driving with the lights dimmed and dipped to the right, with barely 2 seconds of ahead view. This meant that there is a significantly worse view of objects entering the field of view from the left than entering from the right.
They look like HID low beams to me which are actually pretty good headlights (they could also be LED’s). They put out 2-3X as much light as the yellowish halogen lights you see on most cars. The beam pattern is regulated by DOT. It’s lower on the left so that you don’t blind oncoming traffic. High beams are only permitted when there is no possibility of blinding other drivers.

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Old 03-23-18, 01:48 PM
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Old 03-23-18, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
Starting at 16m14s crossing the bridge.
Crash location at 16m57s.

Night Drive down Mill Avenue - filmed with GoPro Hero4 two years ago....

-mr. bill
God, that looks so fun, I miss my car for that reason.
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Old 03-23-18, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
The only reason I would not is because the lady had no legal right to be where she was.

As a cheezy prosecutor I would play up the drug-addled homeless crap, but in a court of law ... I strongly doubt it would ever get to trial. The judge has to follow the law, and the law is pretty clear that pedestrians are only supposed to be on roadways in very specific fashions: In crosswalks, when traffic lights are right, and when no cars are coming. To do otherwise is to use the roadway in an unsafe fashion.

Jaywalking is a ticketable offense. She was engaged in illegal and unsafe behavior and in fact, endangered not just herself the but also the driver.

if I drove my car over a median and perpendicularly across the road and got hit, whose fault would it be?

No good lawyer would let this go to a jury. it might make it into a civil court ... but the legal argument would be the same. "Your honor, my client (Uber and its driver) was driving exactly as the situation demanded---7 mph below the speed limit in fact.

"There was no negligence whatsoever. the safety driver is there in case it looks like the Uber is about to make a mistake---but in this instance, the Uber was proceeding down its lane of travel at an appropriate speed---a lower speed, in fact than any of us would likely have been driving (at which point I would bring in radar-results of speeds sampled over several days, proving that (as would be expected) most human drivers were between 40 and 50 mph through that stretch of road)---and simply had no time to react to a person moving abruptly out of the shadows and crossing the road illegally.

"The driver has no reason to expect such behavior, because such behavior is illegal, and in fact, put my client at extreme risk. had the driver Tried to avoid the homeless, drug-addled pedestrian, she might well have lost control and injured herself---or worse.

"We are all sorry for the deceased, but the fact remains that she has No Legal Right to be there and shouldn't have been, and her negligence put both herself and my client in peril.

"Holding my client answerable for the illegal and dangerous actions of another is simply unconscionable--it would be a mockery of justice."

Anyone who has ever hit a deer or any other animal at night knows how it is. As prepared as you might be for what you expect to happen, you cannot (by definition) expect the unexpected.

If people always had to drive as though at any moment anyone could suddenly run across the roadway or swerve from one lane to another, every trip would take six times as long. We could never drive more than 20 mph, and never get withing two car-lengths of another car--and would have to use only two lanes of three-lane roads, of one lane of two-lane roads.

A good lawyer would make everyone in that jury box picture him- or herself rolling down that same stretch of road---and most of them would be doing 55, particularly at that time of night, and they'd know it---and having some homeless drug addict stumble out of the dark into their paths.

"Imagine never holding your children again---never going to their high-school games or graduations or their weddings---never holding your grandchildren---because you were jailed because some homeless drug addict darted in front of your car late at night, while crossing the road Illegally in the darkest spot possible."

You want the other end of that argument?
You mean the already offered she wasn't intoxicated or otherwise under the influence?

The operator wasn't doing her job, should have been using a bluetooth headset to verbally describe test conditions but she wasn't she was testing distracted...nothing Chuck Yeager would ever have dared.
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Old 03-23-18, 03:17 PM
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The news that the pedestrian was sober came out after the post was posted .... otherwise, the same arguments apply.

If you are somewhere illegally behaving in a dangerous fashion and encounter danger, it is your choice and your fault.

Again ... if I parked on the median, the started my car with the lights off and drover across the street perpendicular to the flow of traffic, whose fault would it be if i got hit.

For that matter, if i rode my bike across the road from the median to the far side with no lights, .... basically if you get hurt doing something both illegal and dangerous, it is your own fault.

I am not clear why the idea of personal responsibility is so far out of favor.
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Old 03-23-18, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
The only reason I would not is because the lady had no legal right to be where she was.

As a cheezy prosecutor I would play up the drug-addled homeless crap, but in a court of law ... I strongly doubt it would ever get to trial. The judge has to follow the law, and the law is pretty clear that pedestrians are only supposed to be on roadways in very specific fashions: In crosswalks, when traffic lights are right, and when no cars are coming. To do otherwise is to use the roadway in an unsafe fashion.

Jaywalking is a ticketable offense. She was engaged in illegal and unsafe behavior and in fact, endangered not just herself the but also the driver.

if I drove my car over a median and perpendicularly across the road and got hit, whose fault would it be?

No good lawyer would let this go to a jury. it might make it into a civil court ... but the legal argument would be the same. "Your honor, my client (Uber and its driver) was driving exactly as the situation demanded---7 mph below the speed limit in fact.

"There was no negligence whatsoever. the safety driver is there in case it looks like the Uber is about to make a mistake---but in this instance, the Uber was proceeding down its lane of travel at an appropriate speed---a lower speed, in fact than any of us would likely have been driving (at which point I would bring in radar-results of speeds sampled over several days, proving that (as would be expected) most human drivers were between 40 and 50 mph through that stretch of road)---and simply had no time to react to a person moving abruptly out of the shadows and crossing the road illegally.

"The driver has no reason to expect such behavior, because such behavior is illegal, and in fact, put my client at extreme risk. had the driver Tried to avoid the homeless, drug-addled pedestrian, she might well have lost control and injured herself---or worse.

"We are all sorry for the deceased, but the fact remains that she has No Legal Right to be there and shouldn't have been, and her negligence put both herself and my client in peril.

"Holding my client answerable for the illegal and dangerous actions of another is simply unconscionable--it would be a mockery of justice."

Anyone who has ever hit a deer or any other animal at night knows how it is. As prepared as you might be for what you expect to happen, you cannot (by definition) expect the unexpected.

If people always had to drive as though at any moment anyone could suddenly run across the roadway or swerve from one lane to another, every trip would take six times as long. We could never drive more than 20 mph, and never get withing two car-lengths of another car--and would have to use only two lanes of three-lane roads, of one lane of two-lane roads.

A good lawyer would make everyone in that jury box picture him- or herself rolling down that same stretch of road---and most of them would be doing 55, particularly at that time of night, and they'd know it---and having some homeless drug addict stumble out of the dark into their paths.

"Imagine never holding your children again---never going to their high-school games or graduations or their weddings---never holding your grandchildren---because you were jailed because some homeless drug addict darted in front of your car late at night, while crossing the road Illegally in the darkest spot possible."

You want the other end of that argument?
Civil Court is a completely different animal. Uber would lose.
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Old 03-23-18, 06:26 PM
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If the robo car made an attempt to avoid the collision, and the driver was paying at least a normal amount of attention, you may have a case Maelochs. But the evidence we've seen certainly shows otherwise.

AV's must be able to at least attempt to avoid hitting people, and drivers must pay attention.

The jury would certainly take this into consideration too.

Originally Posted by Maelochs
You want the other end of that argument?
Yes please.
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Old 03-23-18, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Are you now a lawyer, judge and jury as well as the final arbiter of what should or should not be posted on this subject?

Another judge and jury might come to a different conclusion about liability for an organization that puts vehicles on the road and ends up killing people with unsafe vehicles that "are not ready" and inattentive drivers.
Maybe? But the first obstacle of liability is right-of-way. Which if she wasn't in the crosswalk (jaywalking) would make things difficulty for the family of the victim to prove.

Proving whether the technology is safe is a different matter altogether. After all, it is a prototype.
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Old 03-23-18, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL
Maybe? But the first obstacle of liability is right-of-way. Which if she wasn't in the crosswalk (jaywalking) would make things difficulty for the family of the victim to prove.

Proving whether the technology is safe is a different matter altogether. After all, it is a prototype.
Is that a new provision of AZ law - owners/operators of "prototypes" are exempt from any responsibility for normal care when on the road and they have a license to kill jaywalkers with impunity?

How about when a "prototype" approaches a bicyclist not keeping as far right as the prototype has been programmed to "think" is practical? Too darn bad for the bicyclist?
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Old 03-23-18, 08:19 PM
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Apologies if this was already posted:

Arse Technica: Police chief said Uber victim “came from the shadows”—don’t believe it
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Old 03-23-18, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Is that a new provision of AZ law - owners/operators of "prototypes" are exempt from any responsibility for normal care when on the road and they have a license to kill jaywalkers with impunity?

How about when a "prototype" approaches a bicyclist not keeping as far right as the prototype has been programmed to "think" is practical? Too darn bad for the bicyclist?
Which is why I answered "maybe"? All of this is new so an easy answer to who is at fault under the law is yet to be determined. Also, consider "who do we blame": The technology developer? The driver? The vehicle manufacturer? Uber?

Remember way back when the Ford vehicle was involved in that accident and Ford said it wasn't vehicle but the tire manufacture (Firestone?) that was to blame? It seems unfortunate but these tragic accidents are how we set precedents. One things for sure, I would call for special lights and/or greater visual warnings on these vehicles during testing.
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Old 03-23-18, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
What we don't know is how many times a fatality was avoided over those millions of miles when a human driver intervened and took control. The robot cars haven't exactly earned their records on their own.
Originally Posted by noisebeam
This local news report has some tidbits I hadn't read before:
https://www.azcentral.com/story/mone...ure/446407002/
Drivers say sensors detect jaywalkers
Uber has operated its vehicles in the area for more than a year, and its dozens of Volvo SUVs have logged substantial miles on Mill Avenue where the accident occurred.
The company offered a reporter and photographerfrom The Arizona Republic rides in its Volvos last fall and operators told stories of when the sensor technology was more effective than human drivers.

The Uber employees who spend full-day shifts behind the wheel of the cars said that at night on Mill — when numerous people cross the street amid the restaurants and bars near Arizona State University — the cars are effective at anticipating jaywalkers.

The operators said in the desert area to the north, near the accident scene, the sensors often prompt the cars to stop before operators see pedestrians who are walking in the dark on the side of the road toward the path of the vehicle.

However, during a daylight drive around ASU and up and down Scottsdale Road, the operators of the Uber vehicles had to take over the controls for multiple instances when the cars could not negotiate traffic on their own.
In one instance, the driver braked and turned the wheel because he was concerned the autonomous Volvo would not avoid a car in front of it as the Volvo changed lanes to turn onto Rio Salado Parkway.
I found a different report about Google/Waymo
California requires companies to report the number of instances when human drivers are forced to take over for the autonomous vehicle, called “disengagements.”
Between December 2016 and November 2017, Waymo’s self-driving cars drove about 350,000 miles and human drivers retook the wheel 63 times — an average of about 5,600 miles between every disengagement. Uber has not been testing its self-driving cars long enough in California to be required to release its disengagement numbers.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/t...-fatality.html


This paints quite a different picture with the Google/Waymo cars. Of course, no doubt different operators react to close calls differently.


How many miles does a car drive a day? If it drives around 200 miles a day, then that would be about one disengagement every 20 to 30 days.



Hopefully they analyze the data to see what went wrong.


Google driving hasn't been accident free, but most are also blamed on other drivers.
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Old 03-23-18, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
The only reason I would not is because the lady had no legal right to be where she was.
Well, in Tempe "Sec. 19-151. Crossing a roadway.
(a) No pedestrian shall cross the roadway within the central business district other than within a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
(b) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway outside of the central business district at any point other than within a marked or unmarked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(c) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway where signs or traffic control signals prohibit such crossing."

It appears that this was not within the central business district, though I think someone wrote there was a sign prohibiting crossing at that point (needs to be confirmed). If no sign, then it appears to be question of yielding right-of-way, not one of legal crossing.

there is no crime in Arizona of "jaywalking".

scott s.
.
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Old 03-23-18, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
Another way of putting it, a human wearing sunglasses at night pretty much matches the reality of the released video.

-mr. bill
See for more illuminating videos of the crash site: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/03...nt-believe-it/
"Police chief said Uber victim “came from the shadows”—don’t believe it
YouTube videos give a different impression of the site of a deadly Uber crash"
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Old 03-23-18, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
I found a different report about Google/Waymo

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/t...-fatality.html


This paints quite a different picture with the Google/Waymo cars. Of course, no doubt different operators react to close calls differently.


How many miles does a car drive a day? If it drives around 200 miles a day, then that would be about one disengagement every 20 to 30 days.



Hopefully they analyze the data to see what went wrong.

Google driving hasn't been accident free, but most are also blamed on other drivers.
See
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/t...s-arizona.html
for more on Uber testing problems and protocols as well as AZ's laissez faire approach (i.e. no supervision, monitoring or apparently paying any attention at all) to the public's safety in regards to testing AV on public roads.
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Old 03-23-18, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL
Which is why I answered "maybe"? All of this is new so an easy answer to who is at fault under the law is yet to be determined. Also, consider "who do we blame": The technology developer? The driver? The vehicle manufacturer? Uber?

Remember way back when the Ford vehicle was involved in that accident and Ford said it wasn't vehicle but the tire manufacture (Firestone?) that was to blame? It seems unfortunate but these tragic accidents are how we set precedents. One things for sure, I would call for special lights and/or greater visual warnings on these vehicles during testing.


https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2011/1...-real-or-fake/
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Old 03-23-18, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott
Thank You,

I think this is what several people have been saying. A video camera can be adjusted to make the recording appear even brighter than would be visible by eye. Designed right, it would be adaptive to multiple light levels.

What we don't know is what the Uber video came from. It is possible that Uber had a redundant camera that was for recording purposes only, and not connected to the system. Or they might have had multiple cameras each with different features and capabilities.

If they were driving based on the uploaded video... then something is seriously wrong.
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Old 03-23-18, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
See
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/t...s-arizona.html
for more on Uber testing problems and protocols as well as AZ's laissez faire approach (i.e. no supervision, monitoring or apparently paying any attention at all) to the public's safety in regards to testing AV on public roads.
I found that a few minutes ago.

Apparently Uber changed from 2 drivers (1 for intervention, 1 for monitoring the computer) to a single driver recently, doing both, as apparently the "driver" in the video was doing, despite abysmal "intervention" records.

I hope Google/Waymo doesn't build a monopoly over self-driving cars, but it may well be difficult for Uber to restart their project in the near future.

Here is another article suggesting that the accident may well have been preventable by an alert human driver.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-arizona-crash
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Old 03-23-18, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
If they were driving based on the uploaded video... then something is seriously wrong.
They aren't.
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Old 03-23-18, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott
Just read that and was looking to see if anyone else has as well. Very interesting that the videos posted on Ars are completely different from what the dash cam showed. If so then the backup driver would have easily spotted her.

I'll be waiting for the explanation in why the car didn't stop. My understand of a system like this is the sensors create an enormous amount of data that must be processed in real time, so it's probably filtered before it gets to the software algorithms. There has to be a balance between slamming to a stop for a false positive vs slowing or ignoring. I wonder how much raw data is saved vs filtered vs just the algorithms output.
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Old 03-24-18, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by scott967
If no sign, then it appears to be question of yielding right-of-way, not one of legal crossing. .
There was a sign which most definitely said to cross at the crosswalk down the street ... right at the spot where the lady would have started crossing ... and as far as the car not responding ...

If you are driving down a road and a car comes at you head-on ... and you hit it ... is it your fault if you "didn't respond"?

Common sense says we would try to avoid any collision (and human stupidity often warps common sense, so we have people trying to avoid a raccoon and flipping (happened to a friend of mine) but I have never read a law that say if a driver does not try to avoid an imminent accident s/he is at fault specifically for that cause.

So ... you are driving at night, playing with the radio, when suddenly out of the dark a car with no lights is coming right at you, head-on, in you lane, going the wrong way. You freeze for one second, then there is a collision. Who is at fault, the driver who froze for one second ---- or the driver on the wrong side of the road with no lights?

I am parked on a median, lights off, engine idling. I am not paying attention, watching a video of drag-racing on my phone. When the video ends, without looking up, I put the car in gear, rev it up, and dump the clutch, intending to shoot right across the road to another paved section across the four lanes.

Yo come out form under a bridge, look way down the road to see if the light is green, look at the gorgeously lit movie theater tower complex on the left, and then see a car shooting right across your path right in front of you. You brace yourself, and collide. Whose fault?

The lady should not have been in the road at that time. Simple as that. The pedestrian created the dangerous situation by ignoring common sense, basic safety rules, and posted traffic signs.

There is no provable criminal negligence on the part of the car or driver unless it is proven that the car and/or driver detected the woman and Chose not to react.
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Old 03-24-18, 03:58 AM
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To my eye (and I work some with cameras) the actually light level is in between the two videos.

The second, much brighter video bears the marks off too wide an aperture (the yellowish cast and halos and lights running together, while the other looks like too narrow an aperture (not enough background light coming in.

I'd say the second video is closer to reality, but is too bright ... but in any case, visible light should not be an issue for a vehicle with radar and lidar.
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Old 03-24-18, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
Is it a good writeup, or is it simply a media outlet with an agenda to smear Uber? I mean, if you wanted me to believe the conspiracy that that the Tempe PD and SF Chronicle was working to protect Uber, surely you must acknowledge the possibility that Bloomberg is simply working to undermine them.
More from the SF Chronicle and the staff writer of the "exclusive". https://www.sfchronicle.com/business...o-12777452.php

Extracts:
“Uber has major explaining to do” about how its system failed so catastrophically, said Michael Ramsey, research director at analysis firm Gartner. Neither Uber’s technology nor its backup driver seemed ready for the open road, experts said."

“This was one of the simplest possible scenarios an autonomous vehicle could be in,” said Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst at Navigant Research in Detroit. “There was no other traffic, no obstructions, no bad weather and the woman was in the middle of the roadway. There were no extenuating circumstances. She should have been very clearly visible to the sensors on this vehicle.”

In other words, it was exactly the kind of situation in which autonomous cars with their sensors are supposed to outperform humans.
“This was an ordinary person wearing ordinary clothing, pushing a bike which has metal and should show up even more,” said Jim McPherson, a Benicia attorney and industry analyst. “It’s an open question as to why the car didn’t see her, and if it did, why it didn’t respond.”
Marta Thoma Hall, the president of Velodyne, which makes the laser-powered lidar sensor used by Uber cars, told Bloomberg News she was “baffled” as to what happened. Velodyne’s technology should easily have been able to recognize Herzburg and her bicycle, she said."
Obviously the Chronicle is not sticking with the previous story line of their "exclusive" rush to judgement exoneration of Uber story.

The SF Chronicle staff writer of the March 19 exclusive also wrote an updated story posted on the SF Gate site on March 21 that tells quite a different story about Uber's lack of fault/blame than the exclusive story provided by the Tempe police chief. https://www.sfgate.com/business/arti...d-12771938.php
Extract:
“The video clearly shows a complete failure of the system to recognize an obviously seen person who is visible for quite some distance in the frame,” said Michael Ramsey, research director with Gartner and an expert on self-driving cars. “Uber has some serious explaining to do about why this person wasn’t seen and why the system didn’t engage.”
“The video clearly shows a complete failure of the system to recognize an obviously seen person who is visible for quite some distance in the frame,” said Michael Ramsey, research director with Gartner and an expert on self-driving cars. “Uber has some serious explaining to do about why this person wasn’t seen and why the system didn’t engage.”

Ramsey and Templeton both said that the automatic braking and forward-collision warning that are stock features on high-end car such as the Volvo XC90 that Uber uses in its tests should have detected the pedestrian and at least slowed the car.

“Probably, that Volvo had it, but it was turned off,” Templeton said.

Sylvia Moir, Tempe police chief, told The Chronicle on Monday that from her viewing of the video, it appeared that neither the driver nor the self-driving car were at fault. She did not respond to an inquiry Wednesday about whether she had reconsidered that statement.
You are entitled to still believe the previous story of Uber's blameless AV operation put out by the Tempe police chief, for reasons best known by her.

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Old 03-24-18, 09:18 AM
  #2524  
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Uber vrs other AVs...
The key statistic: prior to last Sunday's fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona, Uber's self-driving cars in Arizona were "struggling" to go 13 miles between interventions by a safety driver—known as a disengagement.

The Times points out that, in 2017, Waymo's self-driving cars in California traveled 5,600 miles between incidents in which a driver had to take over for safety reasons. Cruise, GM's self-driving car subsidiary, had a safety-related disengagement once every 1,250 miles in the state. We don't know either company's statistics in Arizona because Arizona law doesn't require them to be disclosed.
https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/03...-behind-waymo/

Uber appears to be WAY BEHIND others in the AV tech arena... and is taking far too many chances, as is typical of their whole corporate approach.
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Old 03-24-18, 10:40 AM
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimmcph.../#d7217387fbee

Extract:
While police, commentators and the press chase issues of fault and liability, safety advocates and the self-driving community will be focused squarely on how this collision could have occurred when Uber’s suite of sensors, hardware and software all exist specifically to avoid collisions like this one.

TechCrunch’s Devin Coldewey published an informative piece on Monday describing Uber’s self-driving hardware and its role in detecting pedestrians and vulnerable road users. The Uber’s redundant and parallel suite of sensors include radar, LIDaR and a camera array, all focused on sensing and seeing persons and objects in the roadway, day or night.

So how could they all not have detected Elaine Herzberg walking at least 40 feet across an open street? By all accounts she was not cloaked in a high-tech, radar-evading, light-deflecting material designed for stealth; she was an ordinary person in ordinary clothing, doing what ordinary people do—crossing a street. She was also pushing a bicycle laden with bags, which should have created a larger profile and presented materials (namely, metal) that would have made her even more likely to have been detected by the car.
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