Uber’s First Self-Driving Vehicle Killed Woman in the United States


Uber is facing criticism after a woman in Arizona is killed by a Uber autopilot while walking. This is the first deadly case of self-driving.

Elaine Herzberg, 49, died after being driven by a Uber car on 18 March.

Mrs Herzberg was riding a bicycle across the street when a Volvo XC90 was converted into a self-propelled car that crashed directly lead to serious injuries and died at the hospital on March 19.

Uber later said he regretted about the incident and stopped all North American self-drive test operations. Volvo, the Swedish-owned car brand of Geely (China), confirmed the car who did the accident, but also cleared that it was Uber converted into a self-driven car.

An Uber self-driving car travels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Angelo Merendino/AFP/Getty Images

This is the second crash involving self-propelled vehicles but is the first death case recorded in the world. The incident occurred in a sensitive time when there were mixed opinions in US politics and public opinion on this new type of traffic.

Self-driven cars built by Uber, Alphabet (parent company of Google) and General Motors Corp. are expected to unleash the billion dollar business, with the promise that they will be safer for everyone.

Last Friday, Waymo, the Alphabet and Uber car unit, wrote to US senators urging them to pass a law allowing cars to run on their own. “in the next few weeks”.

However, the March 18 incident had almost immediate impact on US lawmakers. Democrat senators have repeatedly questioned the safety of self-propelled vehicles – which could further delay the adoption of a law that allowed large-scale self-propelled vehicles to be passed in Congress.

“This tragedy clearly indicates that it will take a long time for the self-driving industry to truly secure for for passengers, pedestrians and other drivers.” , Said Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Earlier, Republican Sen. John Thune, head of the US Senate Trade Committee, had another argument. He defended pioneering companies such as Uber and Alphabet in the field of autos driving, claiming that the crash was the result of delays through regulatory requirements and the support needed for leading companies in this new field.

Former US National Transportation Safety Commission Chairman Mark Rosenker said on March 19 that no response should be too harsh in the face of the accident. He noted there are 6,000 pedestrians and 40,000 drivers dead in about 6 million road accidents in the United States each year.

The view of the administration of President Donald Trump is that it does not impede innovation but first be safe. Spokesman for US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao declined to comment on the incident.

In September, the US House of Representatives unanimously passed a regulation that allows self-driving automobiles to be exempted from safety rules like controlled cars. The bill was later passed to the Senate, which included a clause allowing each self-driving manufacturer within three years to sell up to 80,000 vehicles if proven to their safety management levels.


About Dawn Richard

In addition to writing for NextColumn, Dawn Richard contributes to other publications including Sensiblereason and Natural News. He studied Computer Science and Journalism at Boston University, and also worked in BBC as well as in the public sectors.

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