Uber resumed the autonomous cars testing program, which was suspended after a fatal accident in Arizona. The case from March this year is still in court. However, Uber decided to let its cars off the streets. At the same time, the company reduced the frequency of tests and took care to increase their safety.
Autonomous cars are still unreliable. The future in which the driver does not have to interfere in the decisions taken by the on-board computer is remote. Unfortunately, even when a driver is sitting behind the wheel and has the opportunity to take control of an autonomous vehicle at any moment, a tragedy can occur. That’s how it was in the American city of Tempe, where Uber’s autonomous car deadly hit a woman carrying a bike during the night in an unacceptable place. The on-board computer did not react at the right time (it also had a problem with the correct identification of the object). In addition, the so-called safe driver (i.e. the person observing the environment of the vehicle and responding to threats) were watching the TV series at smartphone and did not react in time. The case ended in court, and Uber withdrew autonomous cars from traffic. Now they have returned to the streets.
Uber is more cautious about testing autonomous cars
In the new technology industry, the one who is able to learn from own mistakes wins. That is why Uber drew the right conclusions from an accident in Arizona. This is the effect of internal control and prepared report. The first change is the new city. The Pennsylvania authorities gave the company permission to test autonomous cars, but not without concessions on Uber’s side. Vehicles will move along the 1.6 km route and will not exceed 40 kph. At the beginning, there will be two autonomous cars on the route at the same time. Later, their number will gradually increase. There must be two drivers in each vehicle. Their task is to closely observe the surroundings and start the system of immediate braking at the occurrence of danger. In this way, Uber minimized the risk of a tragedy that occurred in Arizona.
Source: The Verge