cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

It had to happen?

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,100
Thanks: 2,640
Fixes: 193
Registered: 06-04-2007

It had to happen?

Uber halts self-driving car tests after death

A 49-year-old woman was hit by a car and killed as she crossed the street in Tempe, Arizona.

While self-driving cars have been involved in multiple accidents, it is thought to be the first time a self-driving car has been involved in a fatal pedestrian collision.

Very sad, But, surely, was just a matter of time?

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

26 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,353
Thanks: 700
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: It had to happen?

I wonder what will happen now?

The law always has to have someone to pin the blame on and punish. They can't blame the driver if the car was driving autonomously yet they can't let it go as it would be a licence to kill too.

So who pays the price for this?

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,238
Thanks: 1,130
Fixes: 3
Registered: 06-11-2014

Re: It had to happen?

Sadly this is what happens when people trial experimental things in an uncontrolled environment, when something goes wrong, it really goes wrong... Undecided

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,807
Thanks: 526
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: It had to happen?

I think we need more information on what happened before too much can be said about it.  We don't know yet if having a driver in control of the car would have had a different outcome.  The lady was crossing the road, not using a pedestrian crossing, according to the news article that I read.  Did she just step out in front of the vehicle with it having no real chance of avoiding her?  Was there anything in the way of the car from seeing her?  It may be that the car was totally at fault and had a person been fully in control of the car then the accident might not have happened or if it had then not been fatal, but from what I've read so far there hasn't been anything published either way.

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,701
Thanks: 784
Fixes: 1
Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: It had to happen?

This more or less proves the point that the only way to stop pedestrian accidents is to completely separate them from vehicle traffic.

Robots aren't the answer.

 

Minivanman
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,016
Thanks: 1,594
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-11-2014

Re: It had to happen?

Sad news but just a blip on the road to progress. After all, cars were not banned after that first ever fatal accident over a hundred years ago.

More details to emerge as well of course.

I know where I am, I've been lost here before.
rongtw
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,973
Thanks: 1,531
Fixes: 12
Registered: 01-12-2010

Re: It had to happen?

The female pedestrian, identified as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was walking her bicycle across the street outside the crosswalk when she was struck, police said, adding that an investigation is ongoing.

The vehicle was going 40 mph when it hit the pedestrian. There was no indication the car attempted to slow itself before the collision.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-killed-driving-uber-car-identified-company-suspends/story?id=53853861

Asus ROG Hero Vii Z97 , Intel i5 4690k ,ROG Asus Strix 1070,
samsung 850evo 250gig , WD black 2 TB . Asus Phoebus sound ,
16 gig Avexir ram 2400 , water cooling Corsair H100i gtx ,
Corsair 750HXI Psu , Phanteks Enthoo pro case .
Minivanman
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,016
Thanks: 1,594
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-11-2014

Re: It had to happen?

@billnotben

Absolutely, it's the only solution and in much the same way pedestrians are not allowed on motorways. Add to that is the increasing number of urban areas with 20mph limits. But there you go, we are still turning out massive motor beasties and for whatever reason, folks are still sucked into buying them.

I know where I am, I've been lost here before.
DaveyH
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,429
Thanks: 246
Fixes: 9
Registered: 15-11-2012

Re: It had to happen?

Tragic but inevitable given the millions of miles autonomous vehicles have travelled.

 

Still far safer than letting humans behind the wheel, though I expect the hysterical, safety groups and various authorities will ignore such facts

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year

 

 And let's not forget the AV that was involved in this fatality did still have a human behind the wheel...

DaveyH
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,429
Thanks: 246
Fixes: 9
Registered: 15-11-2012

Re: It had to happen?

"Self-driving Uber may not be at fault in pedestrian death, says Tempe police chief"

 

<snip>After reviewing footage from both inside and outside the Uber test vehicle and comparing it to data from the scene of the accident, Moir believes that the accident would have been incredibly difficult to avoid even if the vehicle hadn't been in autonomous mode.

"It's very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway," said Sylvia Moir, police chief in Tempe, Arizona.</snip>

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/self-driving-uber-crash-pedestrian-death-not-at-fault/#ftag=CAD7f...

Infinity
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 5,928
Thanks: 232
Fixes: 3
Registered: 19-06-2011

Re: It had to happen?

Arizona police release dashcam footage showing moment female pedestrian was killed walking across poorly-lit road by self-driving Uber car that DIDN'T brake

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5529453/Video-shows-moment-pedestrian-killed-self-driving-Ub...

 

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,100
Thanks: 2,640
Fixes: 193
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: It had to happen?

It's easy to judge from one's armchair but after looking at the footage a few times it seems that if the driver was in control rather than the car she could possibly have been more alert to her surroundings (rather than having her eyes lowered for long periods) and noticed the pedestrian in her peripheral vision?

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,701
Thanks: 784
Fixes: 1
Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: It had to happen?

Well it was an open straight road and I would have had no trouble seeing the pedestrian about to cross in my headlights. I would have had plenty of time to brake.

With the initial report I was expecting to see an unavoidable accident with the pedestrian leaping out at the last second from behind a parked car.

If that had been a driver over here, they would have been arrested and examined by a doctor to see if they had night blindness. Especially if they were an older driver.

Do robots suffer from night blindness? That one clearly did.

RobPN
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,127
Thanks: 226
Fixes: 3
Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: It had to happen?

In simple terms I think 'Contrast' is what we're considering here.  Is the average human eye better at distinguishing differences in contrast than the camera in use?

A bit like adjusting your TV or Monitor so that the screen can show more detail in the 'black' shadowy areas of a scene so that you can see any such detail better, something which I suspect the human eye is better at than present screens are capable of displaying.

In the same way, the human eye is probably better at compensating for oncoming lights etc.

Something which I don't think has been suggested is that you should adjust your driving speed such that you can stop within your 'seeing' distance.  That clearly doesn't appear to be the case here, and as mentioned above the human co-pilot was paying very little attention to the road or surroundings so what was the point of her being there?

Looks to me like a cover-up by the Arizona police.

Champnet
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 430
Thanks: 75
Registered: 25-07-2007

Re: It had to happen?

Just a thought though I may be wrong.

Does an autonomous car need lights to see or are the lights there just so we humans can identify the vehicle ?

Maybe the Woman with the bike should have seen the car coming...........