Uber Investigation Finalized
Over a year and a half ago, the first fatal crash from a car in fully autonomous mode occurred between an Uber self-driving car and a pedestrian. There was huge controversy and Uber stopped its autonomous vehicle testing in public. However, the National Transportation Safety Board has finished its investigation and released its findings only recently, on November 19. The investigation has concluded that the primary cause for the crash was most likely the person sitting in the car because the person was using their phone and as a result, did not react in time. A camera in the car revealed that he/she was not focused on the road and looked away from the road many times. However, the NTSB also believes that Uber should have had a safety plan and better systems in the car to help prevent this type of accident. They had no way of ensuring that operators of the car would not get distracted or use their phones as an act of complacency, and there were also some features missing such as an emergency brake. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made recommendations to help with the safety of self-driving cars. For example, the administration recommended that companies testing self-driving cars should submit self-assessment reports. It also suggested guidelines for self-driving vehicles. So, overall, the operator of the vehicle is mainly at fault, however, Uber also deserves to take some blame as well.
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