Earlier this week, federal safety investigators finally released the documents of Elaine Herzberg, 49, who was killed by a self-driving Uber car in the spring of 2018.
The Volvo SUV which had hit Herzberg could not detect the jaywalker as a pedestrian because the system had been fixed to only classify pedestrians near or on crosswalks. The car was moving at a speed of approximately 40 mph and started to break less than 2:00 seconds before the estimated impact.
Since then, Uber has been adjusting and revising the system to detect jaywalking pedestrians and more. The company told NTSB, the National Transportation Safety Board, that they have been “[modifying] its programming to include jaywalkers among its recognized objects.” However, this was not enough to fully convince the Board.
A few seconds before the impact between the car and Herzberg, the driver had not been alerted by the car’s system that there would be a collision because Uber had discontinued the emergency braking procedure.
Uber responds to this by saying the car was in essence alone as the driver had been preoccupied watching a television show, which implies that the accident should not be blamed solely on the rideshare company.
by Chelsea Lee