After fatal crash, Uber's use of fewer safety sensors prompts questions

30 March, 2018, 00:21 | Author: Julian Swanson
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"As governor, my top priority is public safety, " he wrote to the Uber CEO, saying that improving public safety "has always been the emphasis of Arizona's approach to autonomous vehicle testing".

Autonomous vehicles operated by rivals Waymo, Alphabet Inc's self-driving vehicle unit, have six lidar sensors, while General Motors Co's vehicle contains five, according to information from the companies.

The March 18 fatality near downtown Tempe also presents an unprecedented liability challenge because self-driving vehicles, which are still in the development stage, involve a complex system of hardware and software often made by outside suppliers. The incident is under investigation by local police and federal safety officials who have offered few details, including whether Uber's decision to scale back its sensors is under review.

Uber's statement comes after several news outlets, including CNN, obtained a letter sent by DMV deputy director and chief counsel Brian Soublet to Uber's public affairs manager, Austin Heyworth on Tuesday regarding its permit.

The Beijing-based Baidu has been tasked by the Chinese government to lead the country's development in driverless auto technology, as China is bolsters its position in the global race for autonomous vehicles. Even though video of the accident exists, we're still not sure what caused it - did the car's autonomous driving systems fail in some way, or can this accident be blamed on some other oversight?

The settlement includes regular reporting of demographic data to Uber's workforce and to the court, as well as developing a validated promotion assessment process.

As of this month, Uber was having trouble meeting its target goal of one human intervention for every 13 miles of autonomous driving. He then issued an executive order in August 2015 encouraging and allowing self-driving vehicle testing with no reporting requirements.

Ducey reacted to the news on Twitter with the message: "This is what OVER-regulation looks like!"

App-based cab service Uber in partnership with the Telangana government, today flagged off the first 100 cars under the Driver Empowerment Programme. The ride-hailing service has fought a year-long court battle over its self-driving auto unit and put up a fight in late 2016 when it was asked to get a permit; Uber agreed to get one early last year. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey suspended the company's testing privileges Monday.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators examine a self-driving Uber vehicle involved in a fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona, U.S., March 20, 2018.

Uber has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by two women engineers who accused the ride-services company of gender and race discrimination.

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