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Old 20th March 2018, 00:29   #1
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Default USA: Uber's self-driving car kills a pedestrian

Woman dies in Arizona after being hit by Uber self-driving SUV

Uh oh.
Quote:
“The vehicle was traveling northbound ... when a female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle,” police said in a statement.
I thought autonomous vehicles would eliminate such accidents.
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Old 20th March 2018, 01:05   #2
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

I was in the same vicinity of the accident spot with my daughter yesterday
https://www.abc15.com/news/region-so...rash-overnight

looks like Uber has suspended the trials of the self driving cars for some more time.
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Old 20th March 2018, 06:44   #3
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This accident will have far reaching consequences.
The technology was supposed to eliminate such accidents and till now there were just minor fender bender. Now a life is lost.
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Old 20th March 2018, 12:41   #4
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
I thought autonomous vehicles would eliminate such accidents.
Some accidents are virtually unavoidable.

In this case it sounds to me like this lady (rather suddenly) decided to cross a 4-lane highway at night, without checking for traffic.

The Uber was doing 38 in a 35 zone.

Look at where the bike & car are:
USA: Uber's self-driving car kills a pedestrian-920x920.jpg


Few excerpts from the article to further indicate that this is most likely the pedestrian's error:

Quote:
the Uber vehicle traveling at about 40 miles per hour (65 km per hour), police said. The Volvo XC90 SUV was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel.
Wonder if human input interfered with things -- but it seems not, because the 'driver' says he was only alerted to the accident after he heard the sound of the collision. (link)

Quote:
“The pedestrian was outside of the crosswalk. As soon as she walked into the lane of traffic she was struck,” Tempe Police Sergeant Ronald Elcock told reporters at a news conference. He said he did not yet know how close Herzberg was to the vehicle when she stepped into the lane.
She could have stepped out right in front of a car doing 38 mph (61 km/h).

Quote:
Elcock said he believed Herzberg may have been homeless.
Maybe not in the best state of mind / not the best follower of traffic rules / etc.

Quote:
Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir said that from viewing videos taken from the vehicle “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."
Quote:
Moir told the Chronicle, “I suspect preliminarily it appears that the Uber would likely not be at fault in this accident,”

I guess the video will make things clear. But i wonder if and when it will be released. Probably as part of the legal proceedings and not before that.

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th March 2018 at 12:46.
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Old 20th March 2018, 14:15   #5
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
She could have stepped out right in front of a car doing 38 mph (61 km/h).

.
Ideally there should be evasive steering for such sudden intrusions, especially when the road I assume was empty.
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Old 20th March 2018, 15:23   #6
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

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Ideally there should be evasive steering for such sudden intrusions, especially when the road I assume was empty.
That's what a human might do, or think to do.

An autonomous car would know that its maximum evasive steering maneuver would still not be enough to avoid the collision, and therefore wouldn't do it (perhaps to avoid any collateral damage too).

Alternatively, it might not have had enough data (given the sudden appearance of the person) to make any calculated decisions.

We're all shooting in the dark here - but if I had to guess I think this is human error (ie. pedestrian error), and even a skilled human driver wouldn't have been able to avoid this one.
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Old 20th March 2018, 15:50   #7
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

I was wondering about this situation when I was in LA last month with high density traffic on freeways. The number of cars merging onto the freeway and how humans tend to adjust to gaps etc or how people slow down to let people merge in are some things I am not sure how autonomous cars will handle.

Your car could wait perpetually in some cases trying to merge unless vehicle to vehicle tech also comes into picture ? Autonomous cars can drive close to each other without much gaps in between for merging too.

Mixing of autonomous/non-autonomous and roads that let pedestrians, bikes come in between will be complicated

Last edited by srishiva : 20th March 2018 at 15:51.
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Old 20th March 2018, 18:08   #8
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post


Maybe not in the best state of mind / not the best follower of traffic rules / etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
That's what a human might do, or think to do.

We're all shooting in the dark here - but if I had to guess I think this is human error (ie. pedestrian error), and even a skilled human driver wouldn't have been able to avoid this one.
You're right that we are all shooting in the dark here. "What a human would do" is one thing that we may never know. For example, one could argue that a human, seeing a homeless person wandering on the sidewalk at night, may subconsciously become extra cautious and move over a lane in advance. An autonomous car probably won't be able to make that decision.

Speaking from personal experience as a cyclist, I have seen drivers being so cautious that they even move into the opposite lane. An autonomous car may never do that.

Having said all that, I don't have much faith in the ethics of Uber either. This company is known to cut corners to get ahead of the competition. If this incident bring more oversight into automation and forces the industry to take a few steps back, then I would welcome such a move. But in the end, we have to see whether the powerful automobile lobby will prevail and force legislators to brush this aside with nothing but a rap on the knuckles.
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Old 20th March 2018, 19:48   #9
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Aren't the regular human-driven Volvos equipped with pedestrian detection systems and autonomous braking? Shouldn't those system have intervened even if autonomous driving trials were underway? Unfortunate that the incident could not be averted despite all that.
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Old 20th March 2018, 20:44   #10
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Originally Posted by GeeTee TSI View Post
Aren't the regular human-driven Volvos equipped with pedestrian detection systems and autonomous braking? Shouldn't those system have intervened even if autonomous driving trials were underway? Unfortunate that the incident could not be averted despite all that.
The pedestrian detection and autonomous braking systems available in many cars only work in slow speeds (<50 km/h). But when these cars are modified for autonomous tech trials I guess all these features are overridden with the tech which is being tested.

Only once the investigation is over will we really know what happened. But Looking at the damage on the Volvo which is only on the right front corner, it does really look like she jumped right in front of the car.

At least the car was smart enough to stop after the incident and not continue driving

Last edited by Whiplash7 : 20th March 2018 at 20:52. Reason: addes more content
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Old 21st March 2018, 01:32   #11
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

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Originally Posted by GeeTee TSI View Post
Aren't the regular human-driven Volvos equipped with pedestrian detection systems and autonomous braking? Shouldn't those system have intervened even if autonomous driving trials were underway? Unfortunate that the incident could not be averted despite all that.
Yes they definitely are!



Coming back to the topic, there are always many IFs and BUTs to such stories and nothing can be said clearly unless we see a video of the accident. If Uber thinks they are not at fault, I am hopeful that they would release the dashcam footage to make their case stronger.

-Bhargav
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Old 21st March 2018, 02:52   #12
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

One thing I see in tech towns is the rampant outrage against tech titans by the have-nots. My cousins who take shuttle busses operated by these tech titans have been under attack by homeless people pelting stones. Their bicycles that are free for their employees are stolen, used/vandalized and dumped in creeks, & rivers.
These tech titans are under constant blame for fuelling inflation. A homeless man may see these driverless cars as a way to make a quick buck. Very unlikely that they will make a dime, considering all the cameras, sensors, deep pockets and lawyers these tech titans have. That said, if I am at a gas station in the Bay Area, I would not volunteer that I work for FANG with any pride. I would certainly hide that info. If these cases ever reach the jury, they would certainly side with the homeless person.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 09:26   #13
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

The video is released. Link.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 09:59   #14
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

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Originally Posted by Octane_Power View Post
Yes they definitely are!

-Bhargav
If the driver choses to accelerate in such an event, the driver action will still be given priority, since that is just a basic driver assistance system. Hence, in that video, the driver went and stomped the pedal to accelerate. It will not work in such a situation.

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Originally Posted by A M View Post
The video is released. Link.
Irony is that, Volvo's own pedestrian detection system would have worked even if the lady was not spotted due to darkness, since it would get data from both the radar and camera. However, I am not sure why Uber's setup did not work. But the above behavior looks like it was dependent upon camera data only. Usually the current ADAS systems use sensor data fusion to develop a digital version of the environment around the car. Radar data is mainly used for object detection in the lateral space, while camera data is used for depth perception. Even in darkness, the system would have detected that there is an object crossing the road and initiated braking.

I am also surprised to see how the driver was not keeping an eye on the road. I also regularly drive autonomous vehicles during our testing and we are always bound to keep our eye on the road. The co-driver will be responsible for all the measurement equipment. Guess the race to bring out technology to the market has lead to some safety aspects being overlooked. Though the driver might have not spotted the lady either, due to the darkness, it is not a good practice to glance at the console.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 14:57   #15
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Default Re: About Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars

The police have made the video public. Here it is, https://twitter.com/TempePolice/stat...85098542833664 . In my opinion an autonomous car should have seen this coming. I guess the car is relying on video cameras . A LIDAR or infrared camera for example should have seen this coming.
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