For the first time the tests of a self-driving car led to the death of a person. In Tempe, Arizona, the unmanned Volvo XC90 from Uber hit a woman who crossed the road on a bicycle in a dark place and not on a pedestrian crossing. In the car was the driver of the company, but he did not manage to overtake the control from the autopilot. Now all Uber tests in US cities are suspended and the company together with the police are investigating the incident.
Dara Khosrovshahi, the head of the company tweeted words of condolences to relatives. In the comments to the tweet, users argue about the safety of modern unmanned technologies.
Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened. https://t.co/cwTCVJjEuz
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) March 19, 2018
Uber has been testing its autopilot system on public roads since 2016. The tests involve Volvo XC90 cars equipped with a special autonomous navigation system. In early March 2018, the company said that since autumn of 2017, it is testing unmanned trucks on the public highway of Arizona.
Uber had already suspended the tests of self-driving taxis a year ago when a car with a test driver rolled over. Another driver was guilty in the incident as he did not give way to the Uber car. No one seriously suffered a result of the accident.
The driver of the Tesla Model S died in 2016 who drove into truck in an autopilot mode. However Tesla cars used a system of partial autopilot, the driver had to intercept control in a difficult situation.
The development of artificial intelligence helps automotive companies offer more and more advanced unmanned systems.The California state authorities have recently approved new regulations allowing to test completely unmanned vehicles on public roads of the state from April 2, 2018. And the US Congress discusses the possibility of introducing cars that do not initially have manual controls, in particular the steering wheel.
It is not clear how the accident in Arizona will affect the introduction of unmanned technologies in trucking. Probably, this largely depends on who is still to blame for it.