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Old 03-23-2018, 05:21 PM
  #161  
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You’re the only one resorting to ad hominem here. Neither of our arguments will change the result of this. I’m simply offering my perspective. While yours may be based in driving experience, mine is based in computer science. Both are necessary to solving this problem.

Was there anyone following behind the lady? If so, wouldn’t swerving result in that person being hit?

What was the left lane clear of? Cars with taillights on?

These questions may seem obtuse or pedantic, but we are talking about extreme corner cases here, one in a million incidents surely. Every minute detail is imperative to making the right decision.

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Old 03-23-2018, 05:42 PM
  #162  
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To be completely clear, I believe the car didn’t respond as it should have been able to. I don’t think the liability falls solely on the car though.
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:17 PM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by AZuser View Post
Watching the low quality video (visibility may have been better with human eye than what we're seeing through YouTube video),....
Someone did the legwork and it looks like the Uber camera is crap with poor dynamic range (is that the proper term?) making things appear darker than they were.

In the video below, the person is using a better camera and likely close to what the human eye is capable of. If the Uber safety driver was paying attention, he/she/it should have been able to see pedestrian much earlier... like around the 0:31 second mark. If so, that would have been plenty of time to step on the brakes and/or switch lanes as collision didn't happen until around the 0:35 second mark.


Going north by Marquee Theater to show how misleading the video from the Uber vehicle was. Point of accident is the darker area I'm reaching at about 33 seconds in.

Last edited by AZuser; 03-23-2018 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:42 PM
  #164  
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-arizona-crash

Human Driver Could Have Avoided Fatal Uber Crash, Experts Say

March 22, 2018

The pedestrian killed Sunday by a self-driving Uber Technologies Inc. SUV had crossed at least one open lane of road before being hit, according to a video of the crash that raises new questions about autonomous-vehicle technology.

Forensic crash analysts who reviewed the video said a human driver could have responded more quickly to the situation, potentially saving the life of the victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. Other experts said Uber’s self-driving sensors should have detected the pedestrian as she walked a bicycle across the open road at 10 p.m., despite the dark conditions.

Zachary Moore, a senior forensic engineer at Wexco International Corp. who has reconstructed vehicle accidents and other incidents for more than a decade, analyzed the video footage and concluded that a typical driver on a dry asphalt road would have perceived, reacted, and activated their brakes in time to stop about eight feet short of Herzberg.

Moore, the forensic engineer at Wexco, said dashcam videos tend to understate what humans drivers can see.
While the pedestrian appears from the shadows in the video, a human driver may have had a better view if they’d been watching, he said.

Sean Alexander, of Crash Analysis & Reconstruction LLC, concurred. "Video makes everything in the light pattern brighter and everything out of the beam darker. A human eye sees it much clearer," he said.

Alexander also agreed with Moore’s analysis that a human driver could have avoided hitting Herzberg. "During the time the vehicle should have been braking, the pedestrian would have had additional time and would have cleared without the vehicle actually having to stop," Alexander said.
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:42 PM
  #165  
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That's not really fair either because cameras with good low light sensitivity and dynamic range are able to see way better than the human eye.

so that video might not necessarily be a good judgement on how bright that spot was.

Also some variables could be different than that actual night.

that said thou. If it's the safety drivers job to pay attention in case the car fails to sense something then the blme
should be on the driver IMO depending on the scenario.





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Old 03-23-2018, 06:49 PM
  #166  
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But I don't really believe a city street would be that dark.

Especially in a city like Tempe.

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Old 03-23-2018, 10:02 PM
  #167  
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Yeah, agreed, hard to judge how it really looked in a person's eyes or how well the dashcam was.

All 3 parties played a role and all 3 had some faults of their own: the jaywalker for crossing a multi lane road in the dark with no hi-vis gear, the driver who did appear to look down several times and did not seem to be 100% watchful of the road, and the self-driving car for not detecting a pedestrian in its path of travel.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:05 PM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by AZuser View Post
who was busy looking down at his/her phone
Originally Posted by Mizouse View Post
and how do you know he/she/it was looking a phone? Could’ve been diagnostic info or whatever
Originally Posted by AZuser View Post
It was looking down. It isn't suppose to be looking down. Safety drivers aren't techs so there's no reason for a safety driver to be looking at any diagnostic info or anything else for that matter except the road.
Originally Posted by AZuser View Post
Yes, it could've not been a phone (I'd say odds are very likely it was a phone though).

Still doesn't change the fact that the safety driver wasn't suppose to be looking down. Eyes should have been on the road at all times and hands over steering wheel.
So I was reading the following CNBC article and they gave some insight on why "it" might have been looking down instead of at the road.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/23/uber...ona-crash.html


Around the same time, Uber moved from two employees in every car to one. The paired employees had been splitting duties — one ready to take over if the autonomous system failed, and another to keep an eye on what the computers were detecting. The second person was responsible for keeping track of system performance as well as labeling data on a laptop computer. Mr. Kallman, the Uber spokesman, said the second person was in the car for purely data related tasks, not safety.
When Uber moved to a single operator, some employees expressed safety concerns to managers, according to the two people familiar with Uber's operations. They were worried that going solo would make it harder to remain alert during hours of monotonous driving. Mr. Kallman said it delayed the start of its single-driver initiative to allow for more training and to make sure drivers felt comfortable for the new role.

Uber also developed an app, mounted on an iPad in the car's middle console, for drivers to alert engineers to problems. Drivers could use the app anytime without shifting the car out of autonomous mode. Often, drivers would annotate data at a traffic light or a stop, but many did so while the car was moving, said the two people familiar with Uber's operations. Mr. Kallman said it designed the app to meet government safety guidelines for in-car software to minimize distractions.


Last edited by Mizouse; 03-23-2018 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:12 AM
  #169  
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To me it looks like the safety driver is looking below where the iPad is mounted. It also looks like the safety driver tilted his/her head slightly down too and is looking at thigh/knee area... kinda like where you'd place your hand when sitting.

Example of what I mean:




Re-watch the video and maybe you'll see what I mean. To me it doesn't look like the safety drivers eyes are looking at where the iPad is mounted (circled in blue).

And if the safety driver was entering something into the iPad, we should be seeing the arm rising up and extending out. But we don't.


Last edited by AZuser; 03-24-2018 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:17 PM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by AZuser View Post
Knowing them, they probably took short cuts somewhere like they always do.

Uber's probably like, "If they had let us keep the Waymo technology and data we swiped from Google, this wouldn't have happened"
Yup. Taking short cuts and trying to rush out a product/service before it was ready and ahead of their IPO next year so investors would be impressed. Typical Uber.

Looks like they were trying to catch up to or beat Waymo to product/service launch.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/t...s-arizona.html

Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Were Struggling Before Arizona Crash

March 23, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber’s robotic vehicle project was not living up to expectations months before a self-driving car operated by the company struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Ariz.

The cars were having trouble driving through construction zones and next to tall vehicles, like big rigs. And Uber’s human drivers had to intervene far more frequently than the drivers of competing autonomous car projects.

Waymo
, formerly the self-driving car project of Google, said that in tests on roads in California last year, its cars went an average of nearly 5,600 miles before the driver had to take control from the computer to steer out of trouble. As of March, Uber was struggling to meet its target of 13 miles per “intervention” in Arizona, according to 100 pages of company documents obtained by The New York Times and two people familiar with the company’s operations in the Phoenix area but not permitted to speak publicly about it.

Yet Uber’s test drivers were being asked to do more — going on solo runs when they had worked in pairs.

And there also was pressure to live up to a goal to offer a driverless car service by the end of the year and to impress top executives. Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, was expected to visit Arizona in April, and leaders of the company’s development group in the Phoenix area wanted to give him a glitch-free ride in an autonomous car. Mr. Khosrowshahi’s trip was called “Milestone 1: Confidence” in the company documents.

A video shot from the vehicle’s dashboard camera showed the safety driver looking down, away from the road. It also appeared that the driver’s hands were not hovering above the steering wheel, which is what drivers are instructed to do so they can quickly retake control of the car. Ms. Herzberg, pushing a bicycle across the street, appeared in the camera right before she was hit.

Uber has been testing its self-driving cars in a regulatory vacuum in Arizona. There are few federal rules governing the testing of autonomous cars. Unlike California, where Uber had been testing since spring of 2017, Arizona state officials had taken a hands-off approach to autonomous vehicles and did not require companies to disclose how their cars were performing.

Waymo and Cruise, a self-driving car company owned by GM, reported their “intervention” numbers to California regulators. Uber’s goals in Arizona were mentioned in internal documents — Arizona does not have reporting requirements — and it has not been testing self-driving cars in California long enough to be required to report them.

Uber’s first road tests in its self-driving car effort, code-named Project Roadrunner, were actually in Pittsburgh in September 2016. The Phoenix area was added a year ago, and quickly became the company’s main testing ground, with 400 employees and more than 150 autonomous cars driving local roads because of "favorable regulatory environment, favorable weather conditions,” according to a company document.

When Mr. Khosrowshahi took over as Uber’s chief executive, he had considered shutting down the self-driving car operations, according to two other people familiar with Mr. Khosrowshahi’s thinking.

But he became convinced that it was important to Uber’s long-term prospects. His visit to Phoenix was seen by the Arizona team as a critical opportunity to demonstrate their progress, according to the people familiar with the company’s operations in the Phoenix area. They wanted to take him on a ride without human interventions to demonstrate that the cars could handle so-called edge cases, tricky road situations that are hard to predict.

“With autonomy, the edge cases kill you, so you’ve got to build out for all the edge cases,” Mr. Khosrowshahi said at a conference in November. “Which makes it a very, very difficult problem.”

Early on in Phoenix, there were two groups of test drivers. A smaller group “stressed” the cars by putting them in challenging situations where, without human intervention, they would have crashed.

A larger group of drivers was focused on picking up customers in the autonomous vehicles. Those drivers were expected to pay more attention to little details, often taking control to prevent a “bad experience” like hard braking, according to a company document.

Around October, Uber merged the two groups to get to a point where it could offer a truly driverless car service to customers “as quickly as possible.” The customer pickup service was mostly dropped so drivers could focus on accumulating miles and gathering data to help the system become more reliable.

Around the same time, Uber moved from two employees in every car to one. The paired employees had been splitting duties — one ready to take over if the autonomous system failed, and another to keep an eye on what the computers were detecting. The second person was responsible for keeping track of system performance as well as labeling data on a laptop computer. Mr. Kallman, the Uber spokesman, said the second person was in the car for purely data related tasks, not safety.

Waymo had also moved from two operators at all times to one in some situations in late 2015, said Johnny Luu, a Waymo spokesman. Waymo still uses two test drivers when it is adding new systems or moving to a new location.

But Uber’s autonomous cars are not operating nearly as well as those of its competitors. Cruise reported to California regulators that it went more than 1,200 miles per intervention. After its strong California results, Waymo is now testing cars in Chandler, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb, with no safety drivers.

Mr. Kallman said miles per intervention was not a measure of safety but a rate of system improvement that could differ depending on where and how the cars were driven.

When Uber moved to a single operator, some employees expressed safety concerns to managers, according to the two people familiar with Uber’s operations. They were worried that going solo would make it harder to remain alert during hours of monotonous driving.

Uber also developed an app, mounted on an iPad in the car’s middle console, for drivers to alert engineers to problems. Drivers could use the app anytime without shifting the car out of autonomous mode. Often, drivers would annotate data at a traffic light or a stop, but many did so while the car was moving, said the two people familiar with Uber’s operations. Mr. Kallman said it designed the app to meet government safety guidelines for in-car software to minimize distractions.

Waymo had a different solution when it moved to a single safety driver. It added a button on the steering wheel for drivers to create an audio explanation when they took the car out of autonomous mode.

Not all drivers followed Uber’s training. One was fired after falling asleep at the wheel and being spotted by a colleague. Another was spotted air drumming as the autonomous car passed through an intersection, according to the two people familiar with Uber’s operations.

Uber was planning to seek regulatory approval by December to start a self-driving car service in Arizona, according to company documents. Uber said the vehicles would have to be safer than human drivers before they would commercialize it. They would not operate around the clock and would stop for bad weather or traffic. And the service did not need to prove “longer-term financial viability.”
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Old 03-24-2018, 05:43 PM
  #171  
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13 miles per 'intervention' says 'not ready for prime time' to me.

Not even ready for public roads, imho.
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:52 PM
  #172  
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Originally Posted by AZuser View Post
Yup. Taking short cuts and trying to rush out a product/service before it was ready and ahead of their IPO next year so investors would be impressed. Typical Uber.

Looks like they were trying to catch up to or beat Waymo to product/service launch.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/t...s-arizona.html
but ya they were trying too hard to push out the service ASAP
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:18 PM
  #173  
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Was wondering why Volvo's self braking system didn't kick in.

obviously makes sense Uber would disable it to test their own system.

just shows how bad Uber's system was.

also Uber can't test their cars anymore. They had the license suspended.


https://jalopnik.com/ubers-autonomou...-di-1824110335
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:26 PM
  #174  
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Wow, Uber is in a world of hurt.

They are damn genius to invest heavily into self-driving cars though. Can you imagine their ride hailing service combined with the efficiency of self-driving cars and cutting out the middle-man (uber drivers)? They'd be printing cash like Disney is doing today with Marvel/Star Wars.
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:57 PM
  #175  
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I wish Disney was printing cash...
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Old 03-27-2018, 03:02 PM
  #176  
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lol....seems like every other movie is like 500m+ to 1billion...black panther exceeded wildest expectations. Maybe their stock is not doing so hot?
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Old 03-27-2018, 03:16 PM
  #177  
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Yea their stock ain't doing well
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Old 03-27-2018, 03:42 PM
  #178  
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wtf why....they're killing it at the box office, and their disney resorts/disney world, cruise lines are always packed and are money making machines....
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:03 PM
  #179  
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Well, I guess I'll be keeping my weekend Uber/Lyft gig for a while longer
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:31 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by nist7 View Post
Wow, Uber is in a world of hurt.

They are damn genius to invest heavily into self-driving cars though. Can you imagine their ride hailing service combined with the efficiency of self-driving cars and cutting out the middle-man (uber drivers)? They'd be printing cash like Disney is doing today with Marvel/Star Wars.
That's why they're trying to get out their autonomous car service ASAP because that's the only way they'll be able to make a profit without reducing driver payout and/or significantly raising fares.

Uber's 2017 Financial Results Show Continued Big Losses Fortune

This Is Uber's Biggest Problem

February 14, 2018

Let’s start with two numbers: $7.5 billion and $4.5 billion. The former is Uber’s 2017 sales, according to multiple reports Tuesday, when Uber shared results with investors. It’s a giant number. Were Uber a public company, which it has said it wants to be, such results would rank it No. 367 or so on the Fortune 500 list of the biggest companies in the U.S.

Here’s the thing about the Fortune 500, a list designed to show the industrial and financial might of the American economy: Most of the companies on it make money. Not Uber. It lost the latter number, a staggering amount. “There are few historical precedents for the scale of its loss,” writes Bloomberg’s Eric Newcomer.

2016: net revenue of $6.5 billion / net loss of $2.8 billion
2015: net revenue of $1.5 billion / net loss of $2 billion
2014: net revenue of $495.3 million / net loss of $671.4 million
2013: net revenue of $104.4 million / net loss of $56.5 million
2012: net revenue of $16.1 million / net loss of $20.4 million


If Uber were to price their fares right now to where they make a profit, they'd probably be at least 3x more expensive. Uber is heavily discounting their fares to get people hooked. And when (if) their autonomous cars are ready, they'll roll them out, get rid of the middle men, maybe raise their fares a little, and then they'll (hopefully) become profitable.

But then they run into another problem: the initial cost of buying all those autonomous cars and the costs to operate and maintain their autonomous car fleet. Right now, Uber drivers absorb all those costs.
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:44 PM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by nist7 View Post
wtf why....they're killing it at the box office, and their disney resorts/disney world, cruise lines are always packed and are money making machines....

because ESPN and cord cutters. We have a Disney thread in the investments section of Azine.
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Old 03-27-2018, 05:18 PM
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As a driver with over 4000 rides, here's my

Lyft is in a similar boat - currently unprofitable by around the same percentage in 2017 (around -40%). But that's not to be entirely unexpected from, what is still, a relatively new technology and service. Most financial experts predict Lyft will start turning a profit by 2020. Uber is another animal though. They're involved in a ton of lawsuits, executive mixups and innovation investments which make it harder to predict.

Uber and/or Lyft cannot afford to raise rates much. Based on the many conversations I've had with passengers about fares - I'd say that anymore than a 10% rate increase would dramatically decrease demand. Currently in SLC, Uber and Lyft are around 40% the cost of a Taxi (taxis run about 2.5X more than Uber and Lyft at base rates - no surge or primetime included). If they bump it up 10% they'd be around half the price. That's still seems pretty good but you have to remember that the main competitor of Uber and Lyft aren't taxis - it's their own customers. Most passengers I talk to that go out to bars used to have a designated driver, but now use Uber because it's relatively cheap and they don't need to have a DD. Some would rely on a friend/parent/etc. to drive them to and from their destination but again, Uber is cheap enough and relying on someone else for a ride is a headache. The problem is, some people already pay $25 each way to get driven 15 miles from their place to downtown and back. If the rates go too high, I think many people would go back to DD's and getting other rides.

Their situation with drivers is the same. Soooooo many drivers drop off after a short while of driving because they find it unprofitable, or not profitable enough to make it worth their time and trouble. When I was doing it full time during weekdays, I calculated that I was making about $12/hour on average after total costs. Granted, a 4G TL isn't the most economical car to do ride hailing in but still, even with a Prius, you'd probably only max out at $14-$15 an hour. Profit is not directly tied to MPG by the way. You have to consider tires, maintenance and premium services from large vehicles and luxury cars which can accept UberXL and SELECT rides which pay much more. But damn, you can make that kind of money as a retail clerk. Weekends are another deal. I average $25/hour during Friday and Saturday nights (which are the only times I drive now that I have a day job) but there are less drivers who are willing to deal with the inebriated "clientele" that naturally comes with weekend night driving. If they cut anymore of the fare (which is currently 25%) from drivers, they're going to have a lot of them drop off real quick. Even if they dropped it to 20% I'd highly consider driving less or stopping altogether. I'm already spending about 15-20% of my fares on maintenance, depreciation and fuel. And that's with doing all maintenance myself, writing off depreciation on taxes and using fuelbuddy and Ubers discount fuel card for gas. Curse having to use premium. But when I tried to use regular, the TL started knocking pretty bad. Especially with all the adjustments made with Ktuner. And don't tell me to buy a tin can Nissan Versa or something. Half the reason I drive Uber and Lyft is so I have an excuse to drive the TL more If I had to drive an econobox, I wouldn't be dong ridehailing anymore. That would take all the fun out of it.
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Old 03-27-2018, 05:19 PM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by AZuser View Post
That's why they're trying to get out their autonomous car service ASAP because that's the only way they'll be able to make a profit without reducing driver payout and/or significantly raising fares.

Uber's 2017 Financial Results Show Continued Big Losses Fortune




2016: net revenue of $6.5 billion / net loss of $2.8 billion
2015: net revenue of $1.5 billion / net loss of $2 billion
2014: net revenue of $495.3 million / net loss of $671.4 million
2013: net revenue of $104.4 million / net loss of $56.5 million
2012: net revenue of $16.1 million / net loss of $20.4 million


If Uber were to price their fares right now to where they make a profit, they'd probably be at least 3x more expensive. Uber is heavily discounting their fares to get people hooked. And when (if) their autonomous cars are ready, they'll roll them out, get rid of the middle men, maybe raise their fares a little, and then they'll (hopefully) become profitable.

But then they run into another problem: the initial cost of buying all those autonomous cars and the costs to operate and maintain their autonomous car fleet. Right now, Uber drivers absorb all those costs.
That’s ridiculous! Now I’m curious how Lyft compares or how any taxi company makes money.
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:58 PM
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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1H337Q

Uber’s use of fewer safety sensors prompts questions after Arizona crash

March 27, 2018

TEMPE, Ariz./PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - When Uber decided in 2016 to retire its fleet of self-driving Ford Fusion cars in favor of Volvo sport utility vehicles, it also chose to scale back on one notable piece of technology: the safety sensors used to detect objects in the road.

That decision resulted in a self-driving vehicle with more blind spots than its own earlier generation of autonomous cars, as well as those of its rivals, according to interviews with five former employees and four industry experts who spoke for the first time about Uber’s technology switch.

Driverless cars are supposed to avoid accidents with lidar – which uses laser light pulses to detect hazards on the road - and other sensors such as radar and cameras. The new Uber driverless vehicle is armed with only one roof-mounted lidar sensor compared with seven lidar units on the older Ford Fusion models Uber employed, according to diagrams prepared by Uber.

In scaling back to a single lidar on the Volvo, Uber introduced a blind zone around the perimeter of the SUV that cannot fully detect pedestrians, according to interviews with former employees and Raj Rajkumar, the head of Carnegie Mellon University’s transportation center who has been working on self-driving technology for over a decade.

The lidar system made by Velodyne - one of the top suppliers of sensors for self-driving vehicles - sees objects in a 360-degree circle around the car, but has a narrow vertical range that prevents it from detecting obstacles low to the ground, according to information on Velodyne’s website as well as former employees who operated the Uber SUVs.

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.

Uber declined to comment on its decision to reduce its lidar count. In a statement late Tuesday, an Uber spokeswoman said, “We believe that technology has the power to make transportation safer than ever before and recognize our responsibility to contribute to safety in our communities. As we develop self-driving technology, safety is our primary concern every step of the way.”

Uber referred questions on the blind spot to Velodyne. Velodyne acknowledged that with the rooftop lidar there is a roughly three meter blind spot around a vehicle, saying that more sensors are necessary.

“If you’re going to avoid pedestrians, you’re going to need to have a side lidar to see those pedestrians and avoid them, especially at night,” Marta Hall, president and chief business development officer at Velodyne, told Reuters.

The precise causes of the Arizona accident are not yet known, and it is unclear how the vehicle’s sensors functioned that night or whether the lidar’s blind spot played a role. 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 has said it is cooperating in the investigation and has pulled all of its autonomous cars off the road, but has provided no further details about the crash.

Like the older Fusion model, Uber’s top competitors place multiple, smaller lidar units around the car to augment the central rooftop lidar, a practice experts in the field say provides more complete coverage of the road.

The earlier Fusion test cars used seven lidars, seven radars and 20 cameras. The newer Volvo test vehicles use a single lidar, 10 radars and seven cameras, Uber said.


Since Uber launched a self-driving car program in early 2015, it has hustled to catch up with Waymo, which began working on the technology in 2009. Uber management moved swiftly and confidently even as some car engineers voiced caution, according to former employees, in a rush to get more cars driving more miles.

Seven experts who have reviewed the crash agree that a self-driving system should have seen Herzberg and braked. She had crossed nearly the entire four-lane, empty road before being struck by the front right side of the vehicle. The night was clear and streetlights were lit.

To be sure, there are many possible causes of the crash other than the lidar blind spot. There could have been a software failure in the Uber car, said Richard Murray, an engineering professor at California’s Institute of Technology and the former head of Caltech’s student self-driving team.

“But this would be quite surprising since there was nothing else on the road,” he said.

An Uber diagram of the Fusion model notes that “front, rear and wing-mounted lidar modules aid in the detection of obstacles in close proximity to the vehicle, as well as smaller ones that can get lost in blind spots.”

A diagram of its Volvo version shows a single lidar system on the roof. In reducing its lidar units, Uber chose to rely more on radar to detect obstacles that may end up in those blind spots, according to company statements.


At Uber’s September 2016 unveiling of its Pittsburgh self-driving car operation, it was still using the Fusions, but had a Volvo on display. Uber staff pointed to the sleekness of the SUV and the relatively small roof mount with only one lidar system, a more attractive upgrade from the Fusion, which had a bulkier look with more sensors attached to the exterior.

A former employee said Uber justified the decision to slim down to one lidar by saying they “overdid it” with the additional sensors on the Fusions, suggesting the multiple lidars were unnecessary
as Uber continued to refine its self-driving system.

Uber’s decision to move from the Fusion to a much taller vehicle exacerbated the issue of a blind spot from a single lidar unit, said former employees, because the lidar now sits up higher on top of an SUV, further reducing its ability to see low-lying objects - from squirrels to the wheels of a bicycle or a person’s legs.

One former Uber employee involved in testing both the Fusions and Volvo SUVs said that during a test run in late 2016, the Volvo failed to see a delivery truck’s tailgate lift that extended into the street, and the car nearly hit it going 35 miles-per-hour.
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:08 PM
  #185  
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The victim was homeless, but apparently married and had a daughter. Uber has settled with the husband and daughter for an undisclosed amount.


Supposedly the Governor who revoked Uber’s license after the accident was also the person who approved the license in the first place with little oversight in place.
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:36 AM
  #186  
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https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/02/...yft-manhattan/

As part of the budget that New York lawmakers passed last Friday, ride-hailing services and taxis face a new fee if they drive in Manhattan. These aren't nickel-and-dime increases, either: Uber, Lyft and the like face a $2.75 charge for each ride, taxis get a $2.50 increase and group ride services like Via and uberPOOL will be charged $0.75 per customer. It's meant to combat congestion and help fund subway repair and improvements, providing an expected $400 million per year going forward for the MTA.

Unsurprisingly, it's already catching flak from customers and from taxi drivers, who have become far outnumbered by ride-sharing cars in the last several years. Of the 103,000 vehicles for hire in NYC, 65,000 are driven by Uber contractors alone, while taxis remain capped by law at 13,600, The New York Times reported. As a result, average traffic in Manhattan has slowed from 6.5 miles per hour to 4.7.

"It'll hurt our business. People won't want to pay more money, and that's what's going to happen," taxi driver David Heller told NY1. "There's 130,000 Ubers, ok? They created the congestion, ok? Get rid of them."

Other cities have enacted their own surcharges for ride-hailing services in recent years, but they are far lower than those New York just passed. Seattle instated a $0.24 charge for each trip in 2014, Portland, OR agreed to levy a $0.50 fee per customer in 2016, both of which funnel money collected toward regulating ride-sharing services. Chicago passed one in 2014 that will reach $0.65 this year and directs part of the funds raised toward public transit, much like New York's will.

When reached for comment, both Lyft and Uber supported the surcharge but pushed for a broader fee plan affecting all vehicles: "Congestion will not be fully addressed until the Governor and Legislature enact a comprehensive plan that also addresses all commercial vehicles and the real issue driving congestion: personal vehicles," a Lyft spokesperson told Engadget over email.

"Uber supports the agreement between the Governor and the Legislature to target a per-trip fee on Manhattan riders where there is convenient access to public transit, and to adopt a first-in-the-nation tax discount on shared trips. We will continue to advocate for the adoption of a comprehensive congestion pricing plan that is applied to all vehicles because it is the best way to fully fund mass transit and reduce traffic in the central business district," read an Uber statement the company emailed to Engadget.
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:11 PM
  #187  
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https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/7/17...on-kill-swerve

Uber reportedly thinks its self-driving car killed someone because it ‘decided’ not to swerve

The car’s sensors saw her, but may have flagged the detection as a ‘false positive’

May 7, 2018

Uber has discovered the reason why one of the test cars in its fledgling self-driving car fleet struck and killed a pedestrian earlier this year, according to The Information. While the company believes the car’s suite of sensors spotted 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she crossed the road in front of the modified Volvo XC90 on March 18th, two sources tell the publication that the software was tuned in such a way that it “decided” it didn’t need to take evasive action, and possibly flagged the detection as a “false positive.”

The reason a system would do this, according to the report, is because there are a number of situations where the computers that power an autonomous car might see something it thinks is a human or some other obstacle. Uber reportedly set that threshold so low, though, that the system saw a person crossing the road with a bicycle and determined that immediate evasive action wasn’t necessary. While Uber had an operator, or “safety driver,” in the car who was supposed to be able to take control in a failure like this, the employee was seen glancing down in the moments before the crash in footage released by the Tempe Police Department.

All of Uber’s self-driving testing efforts have been suspended since the accident, and the company is still working with the National Transportation Safety Board, which has yet to issue a preliminary report on the progress that’s been made in its investigation. When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Uber issued the same statement to The Verge that is found in The Information’s story:

We’re actively cooperating with the NTSB in their investigation. Out of respect for that process and the trust we’ve built with NTSB, we can’t comment on the specifics of the incident. In the meantime, we have initiated a top-to-bottom safety review of our self-driving vehicles program, and we have brought on former NTSB Chair Christopher Hart to advise us on our overall safety culture. Our review is looking at everything from the safety of our system to our training processes for vehicle operators, and we hope to have more to say soon.
In the wake of the crash, signs have emerged that Uber’s self-driving program was potentially fraught with risk. For one thing, Uber had reduced the number of “safety drivers” in its test cars from two to one, according to a New York Times report. This explained why the driver who was in the car that killed Herzberg was alone.

Then in late March, Reuters discovered that Uber had reduced the number of LIDAR sensors on its test cars. (LIDAR is considered by most to be critical hardware for autonomous driving.) All this was happening in an environment with little oversight from the government in Arizona. Emails obtained by The Guardian in the weeks after the crash detailed a cozy relationship between Uber and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey that may have allowed the company’s test cars to hit the road even earlier than previously thought.

Many of Uber’s competitors, and even some of its partners, have spoken out since the accident as the company tried to find an answer for what went wrong. Nvidia, which supplies the GPUs that help power Uber’s autonomous tech, distanced itself in late March and said the fault must have been with Uber’s software. Velodyne, which makes the LIDAR sensor that Uber uses, says its tech shouldn’t have been affected by the nighttime conditions. Intel’s Mobileye division published a breakdown of how and why its tech would have recognized Herzberg, though now that doesn’t seem to have been the problem according to The Information’s report.

Last edited by AZuser; 05-07-2018 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:28 PM
  #188  
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:05 AM
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https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...ity/637122002/

Uber to shut down self-driving car operation in Arizona after fatality

May 23, 2018

PHOENIX — Uber announced Wednesday that it will abandon its Arizona testing of self-driving cars, a program that had been paused in the wake of a March crash that killed a pedestrian.

The move comes as the ride-hailing company tries to rebrand itself under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who is now starring in a TV ad in which he describes the company's new mantra as "do the right thing."

Uber said it plans to restart autonomous car tests in Pittsburgh, Toronto and San Francisco once officials investigating the Arizona crash wrap up. But questions remain about a program cobbled together in haste under ousted co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick.

Emergency braking was disabled. That's negligence on Uber's part.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/24/uber...cials-say.html

Uber's self-driving SUV saw the pedestrian in fatal accident but didn't brake, officials say

Published 5 Mins Ago

Federal investigators say the autonomous Uber SUV that struck and killed an Arizona pedestrian in March spotted the woman about six seconds before hitting her, but didn't stop because emergency braking was disabled.

In a preliminary report on the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while Uber's cars are under computer control, "to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior."

Instead, Uber relies on a human backup driver to intervene. The system, however, is not designed to alert the driver.


In the crash, the driver began steering less than a second before impact but didn't brake until less than a second after impact, according to the preliminary report, which does not determine fault.

A video of the crash showed the driver looking down just before the vehicle struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona.

An Uber spokeswoman would not comment immediately on the report. She said the company is a party to the NTSB investigation and cannot release information.

Sensors on the fully autonomous Volvo XC-90 SUV spotted Herzberg while the car was traveling 43 miles per hour and determined that braking was needed 1.3 seconds before impact, according to the report.
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Old 05-24-2018, 12:35 PM
  #190  
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Wowww
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:22 AM
  #191  
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:59 AM
  #192  
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:28 AM
  #193  
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:51 AM
  #194  
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Fine AZuser you were right.

i just don't like people jumping to conclusions.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/22/1...-police-report


and
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:08 PM
  #195  
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Definitely negligence.
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:17 AM
  #196  
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Typical of Uber.

Kalanick might be gone, but it's still a company.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-a...-idUSKBN1O60FU

Forced into arbitration, 12,500 drivers claim Uber won’t pay fees to launch cases

December 6, 2018

(Reuters) - Uber fought as hard as any company in America in the past few years to assure the enforceability of its contractual arbitration provisions. When drivers who had signed contracts with Uber attempted to sue the company for wage and hour violations, Uber and its lawyers at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher won key rulings from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that effectively ended the drivers’ quest to litigate their claims in court – or even to arbitrate their claims as a class. For Uber drivers, the only way to go after the company for alleged state and federal employment law violations was to file an independent arbitration claim.

Amazingly, thousands of Uber drivers did just that. Between August and November of this year, about 12,500 drivers, many of whom had been class members in cases in which Uber successfully moved to compel arbitration, served individual arbitration demands on Uber, claiming the company failed to pay them the federally-mandated minimum wage and failed to pay overtime wages. These thousands of drivers filed their arbitration demands at JAMS, as mandated in Uber’s contracts.

But nothing has happened in almost all of the drivers’ cases. Of the 12,500 arbitration demands filed by Uber drivers, the company has paid the requisite JAMS initial filing fee in just 296 cases, according to a newly filed petition by drivers seeking to compel Uber to pay the fees JAMS requires to launch arbitration. So far, arbitrators have been appointed in only 47 of the cases drivers have brought against Uber – and Uber has paid the arbitrator’s nonrefundable $1,500 retainer fee in a mere six cases. (Under Uber’s arbitration provisions, it’s up to the company to pay initial arbitration fees.)

So, according to the drivers’ lawyers at Larson O’Brien, a grand total of six arbitrations against Uber are primed to move forward. More than 12,000 other arbitration demands – many of them filed more than three months ago — are stalled at the very first step of the process that Uber has long touted as an efficient and cost-effective alternative to litigation.

What are we to make of these statistics? The drivers’ lawyers claim the disheartening numbers are evidence of Uber’s bad faith. When the company was in federal court litigating to enforce its arbitration provisions, the drivers’ filings said, Uber assured the 9th Circuit that it would pay the necessary fees to allow drivers to arbitrate their claims individually. But now that drivers have actually filed demands, their lawyers said, Uber has repudiated those representations.

“At this point, it is fair to ask whether Uber’s previous statements to the 9th Circuit about its desire to facilitate arbitration with its drivers were nothing more than empty promises to avoid litigating a class action,” the drivers’ lawyers said in a motion to compel arbitration that accompanied the drivers’ petition for an order to compel. “Uber’s actions make clear it does not actually support arbitration; rather, it supports avoiding any method of dispute resolution, no matter the venue.”

The drivers’ lawyers said in their filings that they proposed an alternative to arbitrating thousands of individual cases at a cost of no less than $1,500 apiece. After filing an initial batch of 400 arbitration demands in August, the drivers’ lawyers suggested a bellwether process in which the two sides would select nine cases to be arbitrated, with mediation to follow. According to the drivers, Uber rejected that proposal and instead suggested four representative arbitrations and no mediation. Larson O’Brien said that plan was unworkable and proceeded to file more than 12,000 additional arbitration demands at JAMS.

“At bottom, our clients are entitled to a resolution of their disputes,” said drivers’ lawyer Stephen Larson in an email. “By robbing its drivers of a forum to resolve their disputes, I believe Uber is charting a dangerous course, and if its strategy is successful, it would have significant repercussions for all workers in the gig economy.” In addition to an order compelling Uber to pay the arbitration fees, the drivers are seeking a sanction against the company under the court’s equitable powers.

Uber declined to comment on the drivers’ filings, which are before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore of Oakland. (The drivers have asked for the case to be deemed related to previous litigation before U.S. District Judge Edward Chen of San Francisco.)

The accusations against Uber are the latest and most striking example of what seems to be a developing trend of plaintiffs calling out companies for failing to abide by the very arbitration provisions they unilaterally imposed. Last June, for instance, I wrote about a Fitbit lawyer’s all-too-candid admission that no rational litigant would pay a $750 filing fee to arbitrate a claim over a product that costs $162 – a concession that plaintiffs' lawyers called the “ugly truth” about mandatory arbitration clauses. I also told you in August about a Florida paving company pleading for mercy from the 11th Circuit after arbitration by three individual workers racked up fees of more than $100,000.

“The idea is that employers prefer arbitration because it promises ‘quicker, more informal, and often cheaper resolutions for everyone involved,’” the 11th Circuit wrote, quoting the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Epic Systems v. Lewis. “But as this case shows, arbitration does not always live up to this promise.”

The cost of arbitration is turning out to be real leverage for plaintiffs' lawyers who are smart enough to adapt to the privatization of litigation. It may not be long before companies like Uber start wishing for the good old days of class actions.

Last edited by AZuser; 12-08-2018 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 12-10-2018, 09:12 AM
  #197  
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I read the min wage for Uber/Lyft drivers in NYC is now $17. Sucks for me who uses it there a lot.
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:20 PM
  #198  
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Uber designed (chooses to use 1 lidar sensor, down from prior 7, because they felt they were unnecessary and 1 sensor made Volvo vehicle look more sleek, resulting in more blind spots) and programmed (autonomous software "was tuned in such a way that it “decided” it didn’t need to take evasive action" due to low threshold setting; and disabled emergency braking) the car, car kills someone, but Uber is not liable for anything?


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1QM2O8

Uber not criminally liable in fatal 2018 Arizona self-driving crash: prosecutors

March 5, 2019

(Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc is not criminally liable in a March 2018 crash in Tempe, Arizona, in which one of the company’s self-driving cars struck and killed a pedestrian, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The Yavapai County Attorney said in a letter made public that there was “no basis for criminal liability” for Uber, but that the back-up driver, Rafaela Vasquez, should be referred to the Tempe police for additional investigation.

Prosecutors’ decision not to pursue criminal charges removes one potential headache for the ride-hailing company as the company’s executives try to resolve a long list of federal investigations, lawsuits and other legal risks ahead of a hotly anticipated initial public offering this year.

The crash involved a Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle that Uber was using to test self-driving technology. The fatal accident was a setback from which the company has yet to recover; its autonomous vehicle testing remains dramatically reduced.

. . . .

Yavapai County Attorney’s Office, which examined the case at the request of Maricopa County where the accident occurred, did not explain the reasoning for not finding criminal liability against Uber. Yavapai sent the case back to Maricopa, calling for further expert analysis of the video to determine what the driver should have seen that night.

The National Transportation Safety Board and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are still investigating.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office did not immediately comment on Tuesday.

. . . .

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Old 03-06-2019, 04:26 PM
  #199  
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Uber screwed up here and got off easy.

Derailing a bit, I may be wrong, but I think self-driving cars are waaaaaaaaay off.

There are 6 Levels of autonomy that SAE has designated for self-driving cars - 0 being completely human controlled, 6 being 100% autonomous where the passenger literally has to do nothing but enter a location and that's it.

Most cars are level 1. Some are 2. Level 1 have things like cruise control or lane assist. Level 2 are things like Tesla that can control both speed and steering on a minor scale. The Audi A8 is the only Level 3 that I've read about which is essentially level 2 but at a higher function (greater speed, monitors environment, complete steering, but only at relatively low speeds).

Level 4 are autonomous with exception to odd situations like bad weather. We're relatively close on this.

Level 5 is the kicker. Absolutely 100% autonomous. Like on iRobot and Enders game. It theoretically won't even have a steering wheel or pedals. Or if it does, it will be as optional as cruise control is on a vehicle today.

With level 5, two hurdles appear. Liability and Security. The liability is almost entirely transferred to the auto manufacturer. You cannot place liability on the passenger in a 100% autonomous vehicle. How that's going to be done is the question. In addition, a software controlled, network connected car entirely driven by computer is vulnerable to hacks which could result in HUGE catastrophic results including mass amounts of death and injury, property damage and utter chaos and anarchy. We're not talking something like credit card numbers getting stolen from Home Depot or phishing scams on the internet. We're talking millions and millions of vehicles simultaneously traveling, many at freeway speeds, all of which are controlled by similar software on a network behind the scenes, rather than individually driven by a human.

Yes, humans are stupid and cause lots of accidents. But they can't all simultaneously be controlled, especially in such a way that would wreck havoc.

Just imagine if you could suddenly command all the cars on the road to take a sharp right turn right now. All the cars at crosswalks, all the cars going 75mph down the freeway, all the semi-trucks on bridges, everything. Or if you could command all vehicles on the road to increase throttle to 100% (and eliminate any override from the passenger). This could be done by either a malfunction or a malevolent individual. It may literally be worse than any recorded disaster in human history. It could cause more deaths around the world all at the same time than the holocaust, black plague and great Chinese famine put together.

I think 100% autonomous vehicles will be a reality one day. But not until we figure out a way to assign liability with insanely high costs and create some sort of software or network that is literally impervious to hacking, or at least cannot be hacked on a large scale.

Last edited by losiglow; 03-06-2019 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:06 PM
  #200  
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it's misinforming the public and its employees (along with tesla) and making folks think they do not need to do anything while the car is in "auto" mode. Uber got off very easy but the future may not be so hot for the automakers as your post implies with the legal ramifications switching to the auto maker.
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