Recent investigations by the US safety investigators revealed that a self-driving test vehicle that hit and killed a woman in 2018 had software problems.
Elaine Herzberg, a 49-year-old woman was hit by the car while she was crossing a road in Tempe, Arizona. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) uncovered that the software was greatly flawed. The vehicle failed to identify her as a pedestrian. It eventually crushed her to death.
These details have raised a series of issues that question the safety of driverless cars. However, these findings are yet to determine the probable cause of the accident. NTBS is expected to make the finding when it meets with the members of the board on 19 November.
These recent findings will be used to help shape recommendations for the developing autonomous driving industry. The sector has come under fire since the incidence. This will not be the first incident with autonomous machines.
Since the emergence of self-drive cars in 2013, when they began appearing on roads in large numbers, the primary of the manufacturers has been to create a driverless car system that is clearly safer than a human-controlled car. However, with the turn of events, it appears that more human lives would likely be sacrificed in the light of accidents and fatalities resulting from system glitches before we can ever get to a safe period.
The crash occurred in March 2018. It involved a Volvo XC90 which uber had been using to test its self-driving technology.
The deceased was walking with a bicycle on a multi-lane road and according to the discovery by the NTSB, the uber self-drive car failed to identify the bicycle as an imminent collision until just before impact. It was an unavoidable crash for the vehicle.
“The system design did not include a consideration for jaywalking pedestrians,” The investigation revealed.
Between September 2016 and March 2018, 37 crashes have been recorded with uber vehicles testing its self-driving technology. Prosecutors ruled earlier this year that the company was not criminally liable for the death of Ms. Herzberg, but that the car’s backup driver could face criminal charges.
Uber said in a statement, “We deeply value the thoroughness of the NTSB’s investigation into the crash and look forward to reviewing their recommendations.”
The company was compelled to suspend its testing in Arizona on state public roads until further notice.