Uber Car Detected Pedestrian But "Decided" Not to Stop

in case you missed it, The report is out on why that self driving car killed the pedestrian walking with their bike...

The AV's software reportedly "decided" to ignore the object in front of it leading up to the crash. That is, it "saw" the woman, and made the decision "it didn't need to react right away".

The report states that, to remedy an overpowering number of "false positives" - hindrances in the road that pose no real threat, like a piece of cardboard - the threshold of Uber's software was "tuned" so low, that even a grown woman with a bicycle did not trigger an immediate response.

With testing now banned on public roads, according to reports they are now testing the cars in secret on public roads. hopefully they have learnt the difference between cardboard and humans.  


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So its AI was tuned to react like a typical (let's say 90th percentile) driver - hey it's only a cyclist so no stoppy...

Seriously though, the driver appeared completely inattentive in the video. Like the Tesla deaths that are reported, the "drivers" are placing way too much faith in the car's AI.

The companies are placing these vehicles out on the roads with the general public as their test beds. This is not how it is normally done I would suggest.

But they're learning so much faster in the the real world! It's actually quite an interesting ethical dilemma. Do you release a "good enough" version that might make some mistakes but will be perfected quickly by real world scenarios, or do you wait until it's absolutely perfect while many more people to continue die the usual way on our roads.

I think it's great they are learning faster but UBER's decision to cut human safety operators from 2 down to 1 and on-board radars from 5 down to 1 to save a few dollars probably doesn't sit to well with the person who is now dead.

I assume Uber has a ton of money, and it was certainly in their interest to have these trials go well; so the decision to cut corners is really unfathomable. The only reason I can think of is a technical one, i.e. extra radars would have delayed the project. It's still both stupid and callous, though.


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