First pedestrian fatality from self-driving vehicle raises more safety concerns

Self-Driving Uber Car Crashes In Arizona — Kills Pedestrian

Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Arizona Woman

The accident involving the USA technology firm's auto in Arizona marked the first fatality linked to an autonomous vehicle and a potential blow to the technology expected to transform transportation.

Consumer Watchdog states that although this is the first known death caused by a autonomous vehicle on public road, this tragedy is unsurprising given the information revealed in the disengagement reports about the "autonomous" capabilities of these vehicles.

Uber immediately said it suspended testing of its self-driving cars in Tempe, Ariz., Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. Though there have been accidents of self-driving cars in the past, such as Tesla Model S in Florida, regulators did not push a stop button on testing or implement stricter regulations.

Critics of autonomous vehicles also targeted the lack of safeguards that allow a human to retake control of a self-driving vehicle in an emergency and concerns over hacking, privacy, and cybersecurity. Markey is a member of the Senate's Transportation committee.

The ride-sharing company first began testing self-driving cars in 2016 but temporarily halted vehicles in Arizona past year after one of its cars was involved in a crash.

The vehicle, a Volvo XC90 was in its autonomous mode with an operator at the wheel.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed his condolences for Herzberg and her family on Twitter shortly after the incident took place. She was walking her bicycle outside of the pedestrian crossing on a four-lane road in Tempe, Arizona around 22:00 on Sunday 18 March.

An Uber SDA unit has been reported due to it hitting and killing a woman who crossed the street in Arizona. "I suspect preliminarily it appears that the Uber would likely not be at fault in this accident", Moir stated. A report on the The New York Times says that many states in the USA, like Arizona have taken a lenient approach to regulate plying of driverless cars.

The death is drawing fresh attention to questions about the safety of autonomous vehicle systems, and the challenges of testing them on public streets. And who would be at fault: the vehicle owner, the manufacturer, the person responsible for maintenance?'

Tempe police Sgt. Ronald Elcock said local authorities haven't determined fault but urged people to use crosswalks. The event was supposed to show off the company's autonomous vehicle technology.

Self-driving cars do not now require any additional licenses. Perhaps it's time to take a back seat, review the pace of testing on public roads and come up with a safe and secure mechanism for transforming the promise of self-driving to reality.

Uber's autonomous Volvo cars are equipped with two video cameras, one that faces the street, and another one recording what happens in the auto. The company foresees a network of autonomous cars that would that would supplement - and eventually replace - human-driven cars.

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