Video of fatal self-driving car accident
The technology so many of us have been waiting years for is under scrutiny after a self-driving Uber Volvo XC90 SUV in fully autonomous mode struck and killed a pedestrian. Now a dashcam video released may be unsettling to some and raises even more questions.
Elaine Herzber, 49, was walking her bicycle across a Tempe, AZ street when the collision occurred. Early information shows the vehicle was going about 40 mph in a 35 mph zone. There's question one. I thought autonomous vehicles would have adhered strictly to posted speed limits. The video not only shows the forward windshield view of the fatal collision itself but also shows the backward interior view of the car. Which brings up question number two. This vehicle had a driver at the wheel to take over the controls in exactly such an event. However the video appears to show her paying little attention and actually looking down. Was she texting? In any event the second time she looks up its far too late and you see her horrified reaction to the impact.
Are these drivers hired to babysit Uber's autonomous fleet so used to everything going right that they let themselves get this lax? Scary thing is the Arizona governor recently signed on to allowing completely driverless autonomous vehicles to begin testing on public roads. In the wake of this fatal crash where everything seems to have gone wrong Uber's testing has been temporarily suspended.
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