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Uber suspends autonomous car testing in four cities

siliconreview Uber suspends autonomous car testing in four cities

Uber found itself to be the first clog in the evolution of autonomous cars, when one of its self-driven testing cars ran over a pedestrian at Tempe, Arizona. Despite having a backup human driver behind the steering wheel, the car that was doing 38 mph did not apply brakes when a pedestrian suddenly appeared in front of the car, in a vain attempt to cross the road.

“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. It is dangerous to cross roadways in the evening hour when well-illuminated managed crosswalks are available,” Chief of Police Sylvia Moir said.   

The victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg is believed to have been a homeless individual who was attempting to cross to the other side of the street with her bicycle when the Volvo XC90 SUV collided into her.

Although self-driven cars were developed in the faith that they would be definitively safer than human-driven counterparts, developers are now realizing new real-world situations that the onboard computers aren’t programmed to react for.

Following this incident, Uber has announced that it would ban its self-driven car testing in 4 cities (Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto) as of now.

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