Police footage shows Uber driver was distracted before self-driving crash
25 March, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Kathy Ellis
The XC90 pictured here is the make of the vehicle involved in the fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona. One such test is how many miles the auto can drive autonomously without human intervention.
"As of March, Uber was struggling to meet its target of 13 miles per "intervention" in Arizona, according to 100 pages of company documents obtained by The New York Times and two people familiar with the company's operations in the Phoenix area but not permitted to speak publicly about it". "And Uber's human drivers had to intervene far more frequently than the drivers of competing autonomous vehicle projects".
Applicants must be legal entities equipped with mature driverless vehicle technology, and be able to provide both detailed operation and insurance plans, he said.
Uber says miles per intervention isn't a measure of the overall safety of its autonomous vehicle testing operations, but rather a way to track the system's improvement.
Earlier this month, Ducey issued an executive order that will allow companies to operate autonomous vehicles without a person on board. As Volvo's video below shows, accidents like this are now preventable not just by having an attentive driver, and the one inside the Uber vehicle acting as a sort of backup, certainly appears not to be attentive, but by using active safety systems with automatic braking.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Tempe police chief Sylvia Moir as saying,"The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them".
The footage also shows a view of the vehicle's interior and the driver at the wheel. He has touted Arizona's few regulations in his efforts to lure the companies to Arizona from California.
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"So as we develop self-driving technology, safety is our primary concern every step of the way", Uber said.
The Uber auto was in an autonomous mode when the accident happened.
When Khosrowshahi took over as Uber's chief executive, he had considered shutting down the self-driving vehicle operations, according to two other people familiar with Khosrowshahi's thinking. "We continue to assist investigators in any way we can".
Waymo was the first to start operating autonomous cars without safety drivers in Arizona a year ago, though the vehicle Hartke saw this week had a person behind the wheel. They wanted to take him on a ride without human interventions to demonstrate that the cars could handle so-called edge cases, tricky road situations that are hard to predict.
This isn't the first time Uber has had to defend its background checks.
The NY Times also published a piece today which argues that, compared to competitors like Google, Uber's autonomous cars are not performing almost as well.
Alphabet Inc's Waymo LLC has yet to comment on its plans since the Uber collision, but the tech giant's Pacifica minivans remain on the road in Arizona, said Kevin Hartke, a Chandler, Arizona, city councilor. After its strong California results, Waymo is now testing cars in Chandler, Arizona, a Phoenix suburb, with no safety drivers.
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