Nearly nine months after its infamous lethal accident caused by a self-driving prototype, Uber rolled out another of its autonomous projects on public roads on Thursday.
In March, Uber’s self-driving car hit and killed Elaine Herzberg, a lady who was pushing a bicycle across a stretch of road in Tempe, Arizona. Following a letter of approval from the state’s Department of Transportation the company was allowed to drive its prototypes on public roads, provided with a few mentioned restrictions.
In March, Uber’s self-driving car hit and killed Elaine Herzberg, a lady who was pushing a bicycle across a stretch of road in Tempe, Arizona
The company is currently testing its autonomous prototypes near its development centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Apart from that, it is also preparing to conduct testing in San Francisco a Toronto. Reports suggest that these prototypes are currently being manually driven to gather data before beginning the final test.
The prototypes in Pittsburgh are currently limited to a one-mile course with a posted speed limit of 40kph. Additionally, two safety drivers are deployed in the vehicle at all times with the vehicle’s safety systems such as automatic emergency braking to be left on at all times.
As its first of prototypes for the purpose, Uber has used Volvo’s XC90 SUVs However, in its previous tests, the original Volvo safety systems were switched off to avoid unnecessary interference with the company’s autonomous system.
The company is currently testing its autonomous prototypes near its development centre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
In its crash in March, a report published by the National Transport Safety Bureau stated that Uber’s system detected Herzberg roughly six seconds before the accident, more than 350 feet away from the vehicle. The report suggests that the car had first identified Herzberg as an unknown object, then a vehicle and then a bicycle with varying travel paths.
The reports also suggested that it was only about 1.3 seconds before the impact that Uber’s system had determined to deploy safety manoeuvres. The interior dashcam video also showed Rafaela Vasquez, the driver, was streaming a show on her phone while driving.