Technology: Report on Uber crash questions testing of self-driving cars - Ignition delays for the car of tomorrow - PressFrom - US
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Technology Report on Uber crash questions testing of self-driving cars

02:10  08 november  2019
02:10  08 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

Uber's RideCheck safety feature goes live across the US

Uber's RideCheck safety feature goes live across the US When Uber laid out a roadmap for safety features last year, one of the things it promised is RideCheck -- a feature that can help drivers and passengers get help in case of a crash or any other accident. Now, the ridesharing giant has released RideCheck for all drivers and riders in the US, and it's also planning to roll the feature out in other countries in the future. That means Uber can now proactively send users a notification asking them if everything is OK in case it determines that their ride has been stopped for a while. The passenger or driver can then check the notification and bring up a panel that gives them instant access to the app's emergency button to call 911.

Uber suspended testing of self - driving vehicles after the crash . In a preliminary report about the crash released in May, the National Transportation Safety Board said the Uber car ’s computer system had spotted Ms. Herzberg six seconds before impact, but classified Ms. Herzberg, who was not in a

Uber self - driving cars were involved in 37 crashes before killing pedestrian. WASHINGTON — Uber Technologies' autonomous test vehicles were involved in 37 crashes in the 18 months before a fatal March 2018 self - driving car accident, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Tuesday.

DETROIT (AP) — Documents released this week by a federal agency raise questions about whether a self-driving Uber SUV that ran down a pedestrian last year should have been allowed on public roads for test purposes.

FILE - This March 18, 2018 file image provided by the Tempe Police Department shows an Uber SUV after hitting a woman in Tempe, Ariz. Documents released Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 by the National Transportation Safety Board raise questions about whether a self-driving Uber SUV that ran down a pedestrian last year should have been allowed on public roads for test purposes. (Tempe Police Department via AP, File)© Provided by The Associated Press FILE - This March 18, 2018 file image provided by the Tempe Police Department shows an Uber SUV after hitting a woman in Tempe, Ariz. Documents released Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 by the National Transportation Safety Board raise questions about whether a self-driving Uber SUV that ran down a pedestrian last year should have been allowed on public roads for test purposes. (Tempe Police Department via AP, File)

A National Transportation Safety Board report on the March 18, 2018 crash in Tempe, Arizona, that killed Elaine Herzberg, 49, found that the Uber self-driving system couldn't determine if she was pedestrian, vehicle or bicycle. It also could not predict that she was jaywalking in the path of the moving SUV.

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Uber has taken its fleet of self - driving vehicles off the roads while it investigates a Friday night crash that left one of its SUVs sitting on its side. No serious injuries were reported . The accident once again raises questions about the safety of autonomous driving technology and how it will interact

Uber pulled its self - driving cars off the roads, but after video was released of the accident last week, Ducey said he needed to act to protect the safety of Arizonans. "Improving public safety has always been the emphasis of Arizona's approach to autonomous vehicle testing , and my expectation is that

"The system design did not include a consideration for jaywalking pedestrians," the agency said in its report, released ahead of a Nov. 19 board meeting to determine the cause of the Tempe crash.

That, and the fact that Uber disconnected braking systems and relied on the human safety driver to stop the SUV in an emergency, shows that the Uber system wasn't ready to be tested on public roads, experts say. Some say that stronger standards or more government regulation are needed to set standards before testing is allowed.

"These have to be much better than that before they can go out there (on public roads)," said Alain Kornhauser, chair of autonomous vehicle engineering at Princeton University. "If you can't do better than that, stay on your test tracks. Don't come out in public."

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Uber has taken its fleet of self - driving vehicles off the roads while it investigates a Friday night crash that left one of its SUVs sitting on its side. No serious injuries were reported . It also remains unclear to what extent self - driving cars will be regulated by federal and state governments.

Uber Technologies Inc.’s self - driving test car that struck and killed a pedestrian last year wasn’t programmed to recognize and react to jaywalkers The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday released more than 400 pages of reports and supporting documents on the March 2018

Consumer Reports said the report showed "outrageous safety lapses" by Uber and called for stronger rules governing autonomous vehicle testing.

"We hope Uber has cleaned up its act, but without mandatory standards for self-driving cars, there will always be companies out there that skimp on safety," Ethan Douglas, senior policy analyst for the magazine and website, said in a statement. "We need smart, strong safety rules in place for self-driving cars to reach their life-saving potential."

The NTSB will determine the cause of the crash and make recommendations for avoiding future incidents, but the agency can only make recommendations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, federal lawmakers and states have authority to impose regulations.

In a statement, Uber said it regrets the crash that killed Herzberg, and it has adopted improvements that make safety a priority.

Uber lays off employees from Eats, self-driving cars and other teams

  Uber lays off employees from Eats, self-driving cars and other teams Uber has cut around 350 more employees across several of its divisions. The company said it's the "last wave of a process" that saw layoffs in marketing, then product and engineering over the last few months. This time around, Uber has laid off members of the Eats, performance marketing, Advanced Technologies Group (the self-driving cars unit) and recruiting departments, along with its global rides and platform teams. In total, the job cuts account for around one percent of Uber's workforce.

Uber Technologies Inc.’s self - driving vehicle wasn’t programmed to stop for obstructions in its path, including the The NTSB’s preliminary report raises multiple questions about the company’s autonomous system as well as the actions of the safety driver and the pedestrian felled in the crash .

Uber 's self - driving car that struck and killed a pedestrian in March 2018 had serious software flaws, including the inability to recognize jaywalkers In the seven months prior to the fatal crash , Uber vehicles were involved in 37 accidents, including 33 in which other vehicles struck the Uber test cars .

"We deeply value the thoroughness of the NTSB's investigation into the crash and look forward to reviewing their recommendations once issued after the NTSB's board meeting later this month," the company said. It has resumed testing with two safety drivers on city streets in Pittsburgh.

Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor who studies autonomous vehicles, said Uber's system wasn't ready for testing on public roads.

"Clearly there was a technological failure in the sense that this was not a mature system," he said. "The response to 'I don't know what is in front of me' should absolutely be slow down rather than do nothing."

Currently there are no federal requirements for autonomous vehicles to be tested on public roads, and NHTSA has taken a more voluntary approach so it doesn't slow the technology and limit its life-saving potential, Smith said. Bills regulating the tests haven't moved in Congress, but some states have their own regulations, he said.

Smith, though, said he favors making companies explain exactly what they'll be testing and how they'll do it safely before they're allowed to test on city streets.

"They should publicly say this is what we're doing, this is why we think it's reasonably safe and this is why you can trust us," he said. "If a company so abuses the public trust that they put an immature technology on the road with an immature system, there should be real consequences when people are injured."

NTSB blames Uber’s 'inadequate safety culture' for self-driving fatality .
The NTSB has lambasted Uber's "inadequate safety culture" and "lack of risk assessment mechanisms" before its self-driving fatality. In March 2018, an autonomous 2017 Volvo XC90 struck and killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg as she crossed the street in Tempe, Arizona. Officials have also assigned blame to the safety driver, who at the time was watching The Voice on her smartphone. NTSB chair Robert L. Sumwalt said "the collision was the last link in a long chain of actions and decisions made by an organization that unfortunately did not make safety the top priority."According to the NTSB's findings, the Uber vehicle detected Herzberg 5.

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