By: Kyle James | 03-19-2018 | News
Photo credit: Uber Technologies

Self-Driving Uber Kills A Woman In Arizona

A woman in Tempe, Arizona was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber car Sunday night in an accident that may set the self-driving car industry back in terms of public perception. The Uber vehicle was in the self-driving mode when the woman was struck, however, a safety driver was at the wheel.

Uber responded the incident in a statement saying the company is "fully cooperating with local authorities." The company has halted their self-driving testing in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto because of the accident. The woman was reportedly walking outside the designated crosswalk around 10 p.m. when the Uber struck her.

Sgt. Ronald Elcock, a Tempe police spokesman, confirmed the car was in autonomous mode with a driver behind the wheel and there were no other passengers. National Transportation Safety Board officials announced they were sending a team to Arizona to investigate in a tweet.

The autonomous movement has been largely supported by Federal regulators, both Obama's administration and Trump's had transportation secrets to help create a framework for companies to share developments in a way that didn't comprise trade secrets.

The woman killed Sunday seems to be the first human killed by an autonomous vehicle.

Autonomous vehicle proponents have said it would cut down on fatal accidents drastically. In 2016 alone, 37,000 were killed in traffic accidents, a figure 6% higher than the year before.

John Simpson, privacy and technology project director at Consumer Watchdog said, "There should be a national moratorium on all robot car testing on public roads until the complete details of this tragedy are made public and are analyzed by outside experts so we understand what went so terribly wrong."

"Arizona has been the wild west of robot car testing with virtually no regulations in place," Simpson continued. "That’s why Uber and Waymo test there. When there’s no sheriff in town, people get killed." A survey conducted last year on public views on autonomy revealed 49% of consumers say they don't currently feel confident in AVs' abilities to navigate safely.

Another 84% said they were concerned about vehicle-software failing and 80% were concerned with mechanical failure.

Timothy Carone, an associate teaching professor in the Department of IT, Analytics, and Operations at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business said, "Transitioning the knowledge that human beings have acquired over the decades of driving and flying over to autonomous systems like a driverless car or unmanned plane is a complex undertaking that will itself takes years of work for society to recognize the benefits of autonomous systems."

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Thoughts on the above story? Comment below!
7 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 20959 2018-03-19 : 20:51

And thus it begins.

dale No. 20960 2018-03-19 : 20:57

I drive lyft here in Nashville and people downtown will walk out in front of you and not even look between cars . I really doubt if a computer will ever be able to drive in the city.

Anonymous No. 20961 2018-03-19 : 21:22

Despite the selective polls, I think most people outside of the tech hubs don't like them.. especially after you see one

Anonymous No. 20966 2018-03-20 : 00:27

When I saw the headline I thought "I bet it was the womans fault" and it ended up being true. A human driving would have most likely had the same result, hell, there was a human in the automated car at the time, if it was actually avoidable the driver would have done so.

Anonymous No. 20981 2018-03-20 : 05:38

>Fast-forwarding AI development on roads with real pedestrians and moving cars instead of taking it slow

Elon Musk have those government shekels.

Anonymous No. 20996 2018-03-20 : 12:32


In case you missed the key fact…


"…the car was in autonomous mode with a DRIVER behind the wheel and there were no other passengers."

So the story is really.

JAYWALKER KILLED by Computer driven vehicle with a Human behind the wheel watching.

Anonymous No. 21001 2018-03-20 : 13:25

Did the car even slow down for the jaywalker?

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