(Warning: Some of you may consider this footage a bit graphic.)
The Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit is investigating the self-driving Uber that struck a woman who later died from her injuries. Many of us following the autonomous space were very curious as to how it happened, but could only speculate. Now, however, the police have made the footage publicly available and we can see exactly what happened, including what the human monitor behind the wheel was doing:— Tempe Police (@TempePolice) March 21, 2018 ">
It's difficult to tell from the lighting in the video, but if what's portrayed on-screen is similar to what would be seen by a human driver in the same situation, the poor woman does indeed seem to come out of nowhere; is clearly crossing the street at a place with no marked crosswalk; and does not appear to be looking out for herself at all.
That being said, if the lighting situation portrayed in the video is different than what would be seen in real life, an engaged human driver might have been able to spot the woman in their peripheral vision while she was still a lane away. It's impossible to tell. But I think that once she was in the lane the car was in, no human could have applied the brakes in time. Perhaps a computer could have--if it spotted her.
This video raises at least three points, the first two being intertwined. I think the first point is obvious: The entire point of autonomous cars is that they ought be able to prevent accidents that we humans, with our ordinary reflexes and perception, could not.
The second point, which will certainly be debated endlessly, is: Are people willing to live with an autonomous car killing someone in a situation where no human could have prevented the death anyway?
The third point illustrates a danger with having a system meant to hand things off between human and driver. The human monitor has clearly been lulled into not paying avid attention, and I can't fault him, as I think we as humans are wired to either be engaged or not engaged in operating a machine. Once we observe that something is "safe" and automatic, particularly after logging many hours without incident, I think it's natural that our attention would wander.
Lastly I'll ask you: If you were behind the wheel as the monitor, do you think you would have been paying more attention, and could have applied the brakes in time?
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72 hours of "uber isn't at fault" articles. Law enforcement making these claims. Video now shows otherwise, no braking, no swerving. Nothing.
I believe you're right, the car does not seem to react to the pedestrian. Sure the pedestrian should have been aware of her surroundings. But that begs the question: what caused the car to ignore the pedestrian?
Because physics and a low light situation would prevent that.
Why shouldn't they cross a street? What exactly absolves a person in control of a deadly weapon from any responsibility?
The Uber Volvos got IR-LIDARS and ultrasonic sensors which don't care if it is light or pitch dark outside. The IR-LIDAR should even be better at night because there is no infra red light interference from the sun. There is no excuse to have such sensors and have a car driving around in public if they don't work in all conditions.
I'm really against posting this video. I did not watch it. This is someone's loved one. Let the experts review it an make improvements. You wouldn't post a video of your mother being killed so don't post this. Thanks.
I can't find anything about exactly what kind of vehicle it is in this case, but electric-only vehicles are freakishly silent (as opposed to hybrid electrics, which are only that way some of the time). I've been spooked before by electric cars & scooters - they don't audibly announce their approach in any way that we've been conditioned to alert to the danger.
In basic driving education classes you learn that you need to be able stop within the range of what you can see. In other words don’t drive so fast that your stopping point is beyond your headlights at night.
Considering how cameras work in low light with a bright area (ie headlights at night) I seriously doubt that the biker was practically invisible in like it appears in the video. It's also been proven in research that people are exceptionally bad at taking over control of a autonomous car at a moments notice. it's not guaranteed that the driver could have taken control, assessed the situation and responded properly unless they had ample warning. Which they never will in an emergency.
That road is pitch black. It's very low light because there is almost no light besides that from the car. At most the person might barely make out the figure a second or two prior to the video, but not enough to stop or swerve as some people are advising.
My point is that in reality the road wasn't as dark as it appears in the video. There are youtube videos of other people driving the same road to prove this.
If it is pitch black, a car with headlights on made absolute no effect to the lady who's trying to cross? Think again...
"seem to come out of nowhere; is clearly crossing the street at a place with no marked crosswalk; and does not appear to be looking out for herself at all"
Driverless vehicle's technology MUST BE equipped with sensors system to slow down & stop if there's a wild life or domistica animal on a road Deer or raccoon, dog, stray cat, EVEN A SQUIRREL kids playing a ball
Driverless vehicle's technology MUST BE EQUIPPED with high sensitivity sensors system to SENSE ANY DANGER ON A ROAD (ANY STILL OR MOVING OBJECT ON A ROAD) if a vehicle stopped on a road due to got broke or an accident. VEHICLES Must be equipped with thermal infrared sensors to sense heat of a human or an animal in ANY WEATHER, SEASON, TEMPERATURES, DAYTIME or NIGHTTIME CONDITIONS TO slow down & stop while sending out an emergency signal to WARN other drivers around on a road about PLANNING TO STOP, MUST AUTOMATICALLY TURN ON ALL ALERTNESS & WARNING lights (EMERGENCY LIGHTS, HAZARD WARNING LIGHTS etc.)
rain is just making notes on the video, he doesn't seem to be blaming anyone, more asking questions. I can't even tell who you're blaming: uber? the driver?
Rain's statement made 2 assumptions and the third fact is irrelevant. As for blame, I can't say, but it seems Rain is certainly blaming the victim with assumptions.
Where I live, this would probably be distracted driving.
Lot's of people are making wrong a wrong assumption that the video shows what actually a human driver would see. Human eyes in general have way better dynamic range than a camera which makes us adapt to such low light (with bright spots) condition much better. To say that the woman was coming from the darkness is at best an unverified claim. Technology wise, infrared or laser sensors should be relied more at night. So this is at least a technical design failure.
I feel like this article is in really poor taste. Then again this is the guy who posts pics and opinion about the garbage people throw out into the street, or writes an article about a public planter needing repair. So really, it's my own fault for reading this stupid website.
There is definitely a discussion and public to be had about autonomous vehicles, and that discussion is taking place. Even your later paragraphs are fine, in terms of contributing your opinions on the topic.
However, the headline and the lede are clearly about watching this poor woman get mortally wounded. If the police want to release that footage, that's their call but you don't have to amplify the ridiculous rubbernecking and contribute to the pain of this woman's family who are having her death become a national spectacle.
TL;DR: Use your f-in' brain, I'm out of here. Peace.
Car industry needs better headlights across the board in all categories.
I hadn't seen this clip until after reading the article, and I must say that this accident looks more preventable than I was expecting it to. If a human was driving, I don't think it would a given that they would avoid the collision, but I'd give them at least a 35% chance of doing so. It's absolutely possible that someone would periphally notice some unfamiliar movement in the carriageway that their brain would flag as 'not a vehicle' (even in low light conditions) and could tap the brakes well before she steps into the path of the car. I feel the problem here is that the car is bound to have some sort of programming that stops it from reacting to every vehicle that approaches from the opposite direction, and this may have prevented it from identifying the threat in this case. By the time she stepped out in front of the car, it was too late. That said, if this was dashcam footage from a human driver's accident, I'm fairly certain they would be not be held liable. As for the human 'supervisor', it's a shame they weren't paying attention, but also an entirely predictable situation. I feel that the designers here should have implemented strong measures to restrict operator distraction. Looks more like they were put there for insurance / legal reasons. I wonder how well they were paid?
Seems to me that it's a perfect storm of all three parties are to blame:
To me me this brings back the phylosophical debates of swerve to kill 1 or do nothing and kill 10. The one we discussed ad nauseum in high school when we believed we are soo smart.
I like the comment that Rain and someone else made, that it's really a low expectation level to want autonomous car to perform as well as humans. They should perform way better since you can pile up tech which you can't do on a human. Love the idea of infrared or other type of light detection that humans don't have (ultraviolet?). What about sound detection? Echo location? Maybe silly. What is self-driving cars are equipped with F1 level brakes so they stop on a dime? Self-driving cars should be so so so much better than humans driving!! We suck!
It is completely irrelevant to ask if another human would do better than that driver did.
at 2) I'm just saying that maybe they rushed up with regular road tests. Can you say for sure they didn't? and yes, ideally every car on the road needs to be converted - impossible huh!? for sure there's need to be a transition (maybe 30-40 years) but embrace for lot of accidents like this.