Author Topic: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona  (Read 2640 times)

Gunnar

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2018, 02:53:56 PM »
Just reading the preliminary details, I'm not sure this woman would be alive even if the vehicle would had been human operated. Sounds like she pretty much pushed a bicycle across a busy street and directly into the path of a vehicle going 40 mph.

TERRIBLE story, it won't be the last like it, but ultimately, this tech is going to save a LOT of lives and make transportation a lot more convenient, accessible, and affordable for all.

Developed by the same people who have given (actually sold) beta software with tons of bugs for decades now ? That's a scary thought....
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2018, 03:44:13 PM »
The problem with the technology is, at best, it can’t tell a human from a sign painted to look like a human. It has no ability to anticipate human movements. A heat sensing radar is being adapted but that is going to add more than $50k per vehicle to the price and it is incapable of telling a dog from a human. With 5-independent Lidar systems @ $35k each, plus the needed improvements these things are not ready to mix it up with crazy traffic just yet. So far one dead driver in Florida because the technology couldn’t tell the suns reflection off a semi didn’t equal an open road. Another flipped on its side in a not-at-fault collision with bumps and bruises.

Low speed, exclusive downtown, curbside transit lanes? Maybe...
Mixed traffic? Not yet.
Skyway? Insanity!

BridgeTroll

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2018, 08:31:32 AM »
Quote
Don’t Let the First Pedestrian Death by Uber's Self-Driving Car Freak You Out
A pedestrian in Arizona was killed by a self-driving Uber.

Tracey Lindeman
Mar 20 2018, 9:45am

Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were hit and killed by cars in the US last year—an increase of nine percent from the previous year, and the highest number since 1990, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Pedestrians aren’t alone; drivers, motorcyclists, and cyclists are all being killed with greater frequency on American roads. In 2016, 37,461 people died in traffic accidents in the US.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/mbxjyv/autonomous-uber-kills-pedestrian-in-tempe-arizona-self-driving-car




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TimmyB

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2018, 08:57:49 AM »
According to the local investigators, it wouldn't have made a difference who or what was driving that car.  The woman crossed in the dark by suddenly moving out into the street in front of the vehicle(at a place where there were signs stating to NOT cross the road in that place).  The car was travelling 40, although the speed limit was 35. 

thelakelander

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2018, 09:15:57 AM »
What this suggest is that the claims of increased safety can't really be realized in an environment where human unpredictability exists. Local investigation can blame the pedestrian all it wants but the reality is that we design streets for vehicles and not people. The environment developed is a significant factor in multimodal safety and it can't be ignored or overcome via technology alone.

Unfortunately, the natural reaction is for naysayers to suggest this is why AVs don't work and for rose colored glass wearing backers to wrap themselves around why the pedestrian is at fault. What remains true is that many of the benefits AVs are being promoted to bring simply can't in an environment where there's still human interaction.

In addition, none of these links regarding this incident even point to or attempt to resolve the real issues that improve safety between motorized and non-motorized modes. High vehicular speed (drop that posted speed limit down to 25mph and the severity of a crash drops significantly....heck maybe at a lower speed, the vehicle does have time to stop), autocentric context and infrastructure design, lack of crosswalk locations designed for natural human movement, poor lighting and visibility, etc. These things aren't as sexy as the idea of self-driving vehicles but they are the things that actually improve safety, encourage economic development, improves multimodal connectivity and enhances a community's quality of life. They make up the backbone of a true "smart city".
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BridgeTroll

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2018, 09:39:35 AM »
Here you go Lake...  8)

Quote
Yet beyond the personal tragedy, the events in Phoenix do nothing to change the broader context that existed the day before the collision happened: American roads are deeply unsafe, transformative technology is coming whether we like it or not, and the public must now enter a complex but essential debate about how we should integrate AV technology within the places where we live, work, and play.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2018/03/20/what-ubers-autonomous-vehicle-fatality-tells-us-about-the-future-of-place/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=brookingsrss/topfeeds/latestfrombrookings
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Tacachale

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2018, 09:44:48 AM »
What this suggest is that the claims of increased safety can't really be realized in an environment where human unpredictability exists. Local investigation can blame the pedestrian all it wants but the reality is that we design streets for vehicles and not people. The environment developed is a significant factor in multimodal safety and it can't be ignored or overcome via technology alone.

Unfortunately, the natural reaction is for naysayers to suggest this is why AVs don't work and for rose colored glass wearing backers to wrap themselves around why the pedestrian is at fault. What remains true is that many of the benefits AVs are being promoted to bring simply can't in an environment where there's still human interaction.

In addition, none of these links regarding this incident even point to or attempt to resolve the real issues that improve safety between motorized and non-motorized modes. High vehicular speed (drop that posted speed limit down to 25mph and the severity of a crash drops significantly....heck maybe at a lower speed, the vehicle does have time to stop), autocentric context and infrastructure design, lack of crosswalk locations designed for natural human movement, poor lighting and visibility, etc. These things aren't as sexy as the idea of self-driving vehicles but they are the things that actually improve safety, encourage economic development, improves multimodal connectivity and enhances a community's quality of life. They make up the backbone of a true "smart city".

Excellent post.
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ProjectMaximus

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2018, 11:07:30 AM »
Excellent excellent point, Lake.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2018, 01:08:53 AM »
Video is out of the moments up to the collision:

https://twitter.com/TempePolice/status/976585098542833664

Honestly, it looks like the pedestrian was in the wrong here. Crossing in an area with no street lights, no crosswalk, in darkness with no reflective material or artificial light, and apparently paying no attention to the approaching headlights. Nobody ordered this person to cross here, or ignore the vehicle moving towards them.

While I understand Lake's thoughts on improving the city to be safer, I don't see how it isn't the pedestrian's responsibility to be mindful of the environment around them and its changes, because we're not at the point where the changes to improve pedestrian safety have been made yet. And especially at night, while illegally crossing, with no safety equipment.

Of course, Uber will need to carefully consider their next move, especially in the technology they choose in trying to make self-driving an economical reality. This is as much a PR learning experience as it is a technological learning experience, and they better learn a lot, because people won't tolerate continuous high-profile accidents involving fatalities.

thelakelander

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2018, 07:08:09 AM »
Wow, take a look at the context. There's a sidewalk that dead ends into the street sidewalk mid-block and there's two sidewalks in the median (although there are signs that have been added after-the-fact to use the crosswalk). There's also a bus stop mid-block, which it where it appears the pedestrian possibly came from. Then the lighting is pretty poor. The context definitely creates a situation where you'll have pedestrians crossing at the point. We can blame the pedestrian, but publicly we set up a mix of pedestrian generators that will naturally cause a pedestrian to cross mid-block than travel 500 feet out of the way to cross at a crosswalk spanning seven lanes.



Also, I hadn't realized she had already crossed four 12-foot travel and turn lanes. I did suspect the driver wasn't paying complete attention because of an over-reliance on self driving technology. Now looking at it, I don't think any type of color clothing would have worked. Better lighting would have made her easier to see, considering she didn't just teleport herself across four lanes before hit. Also, if they don't want pedestrians crossing at the location, it would have made better sense to not install a paved sidewalk in the median, not place the bus stop in that particular location and instead make the median inaccessible through pedestrian channelization (given the location of the bus stop/sidewalk to the Marquee Theatre.

Quote
The video shows that the safety driver, identified by police as Rafael Vasquez, was clearly distracted and looking down from the road.

It also appears that both of the safety driver's hands were not hovering above the steering wheel, which is what most backup drivers are instructed to do because it allows them to take control of the car quickly in the case of an emergency.

Earlier in the week, police officials said the driver was not impaired and had cooperated with authorities. The self-driving car, however, should have detected the woman crossing the road.

Like many self-driving cars, Uber equips its vehicles with lidar sensors -- an acronym for light detection and ranging systems -- to help the car detect the world around it. One of the positive attributes of Lidar is that it is supposed to work well at night when it is dark, detecting objects from hundreds of feet away.

The accident was a reminder that self-driving technology is still in the experimental stage, as Silicon Valley giants, major automakers and other companies race to develop vehicles that can drive on their own.

Quote
Like many self-driving cars, Uber equips its vehicles with lidar sensors -- an acronym for light detection and ranging systems -- to help the car detect the world around it. One of the positive attributes of Lidar is that it is supposed to work well at night when it is dark, detecting objects from hundreds of feet away.

Full article: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/20/us/self-driving-uber-pedestrian-killed.html
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 07:23:25 AM by thelakelander »
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civil42806

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2018, 09:35:20 AM »
Video is out of the moments up to the collision:

https://twitter.com/TempePolice/status/976585098542833664

Honestly, it looks like the pedestrian was in the wrong here. Crossing in an area with no street lights, no crosswalk, in darkness with no reflective material or artificial light, and apparently paying no attention to the approaching headlights. Nobody ordered this person to cross here, or ignore the vehicle moving towards them.

While I understand Lake's thoughts on improving the city to be safer, I don't see how it isn't the pedestrian's responsibility to be mindful of the environment around them and its changes, because we're not at the point where the changes to improve pedestrian safety have been made yet. And especially at night, while illegally crossing, with no safety equipment.

Of course, Uber will need to carefully consider their next move, especially in the technology they choose in trying to make self-driving an economical reality. This is as much a PR learning experience as it is a technological learning experience, and they better learn a lot, because people won't tolerate continuous high-profile accidents involving fatalities.

Jaywalking should not be a death sentence. Obviously the LIDAR system on the car failed to detect the pedestrian for some reason, whether it be a software system failure or a some form of mechanical failure.  The vehicle should have easily detected the obstruction and at least started to brake the car.   There appears to be no evidence of the car breaking at all.  If the vehicle cannot do this basic task, then they should not be allowed on the road period.  The safety driver was sloppy and should be held responsible as well, that's what he/she is getting paid for not to what I suspect "is looking at a phone".    At least we know now that she didn't dart in front of the vehicle. 

marcuscnelson

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2018, 10:11:13 AM »
Video is out of the moments up to the collision:

https://twitter.com/TempePolice/status/976585098542833664

Honestly, it looks like the pedestrian was in the wrong here. Crossing in an area with no street lights, no crosswalk, in darkness with no reflective material or artificial light, and apparently paying no attention to the approaching headlights. Nobody ordered this person to cross here, or ignore the vehicle moving towards them.

While I understand Lake's thoughts on improving the city to be safer, I don't see how it isn't the pedestrian's responsibility to be mindful of the environment around them and its changes, because we're not at the point where the changes to improve pedestrian safety have been made yet. And especially at night, while illegally crossing, with no safety equipment.

Of course, Uber will need to carefully consider their next move, especially in the technology they choose in trying to make self-driving an economical reality. This is as much a PR learning experience as it is a technological learning experience, and they better learn a lot, because people won't tolerate continuous high-profile accidents involving fatalities.

Jaywalking should not be a death sentence. Obviously the LIDAR system on the car failed to detect the pedestrian for some reason, whether it be a software system failure or a some form of mechanical failure.  The vehicle should have easily detected the obstruction and at least started to brake the car.   There appears to be no evidence of the car breaking at all.  If the vehicle cannot do this basic task, then they should not be allowed on the road period.  The safety driver was sloppy and should be held responsible as well, that's what he/she is getting paid for not to what I suspect "is looking at a phone".    At least we know now that she didn't dart in front of the vehicle.

Jaywalking shouldn't be a death sentence, but it's going to be because that's how physics works. I don't disagree on the likelihood of there having been a system failure, but the conditions so highly decreased the chance of detection that it's not very surprising that this collision ended up happening. I believe it was also mentioned elsewhere that LIDAR is poor at detecting objects moving perpendicular to the sensors.

So yes, the technology failed, but at the same time the conditions that the pedestrian chose to undertake were ultimately conducive to that failure. Alas, regulations are always written in blood. It's real-world data like this that unfortunately tends to be needed for making improvements to both technology and legal approaches.

FlaBoy

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2018, 03:07:21 PM »
These cars are about to be the new elevator. Back in the early 20th century, most people did not like automated elevators and preferred to have someone cranking. Although the cranks were much more dangerous and there were accidents regularly, when one automated elevator had issues, it made national news and caused a lot of buildings to go back to the old crank for awhile with the attendant.

civil42806

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2018, 03:15:07 PM »
Here is a good summary of the situation in my opinion.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2018/03/uber-tempe-video/#more-1617988

marcuscnelson

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Re: Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2018, 12:20:19 AM »
So someone's been struck by a vehicle at night over in Englewood earlier tonight.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/pedestrian-struck-by-vehicle-in-englewood-area-police-say

Let's see if any comparison comes up between this accident and what happened in Arizona.