Expert: Something Went Wrong With Uber's Self-Driving System

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 2:13pm
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Yesterday, Tempe police released video from the fatal crash involving an Uber self-driving SUV and a pedestrian.

It shows everything that happened up to just before the moment when the car struck 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who died of her injuries. One angle shows the road and Herzberg walking her bike across. The other angle shows the safety driver in the vehicle, looking down… and then at the end of the clip, a sudden expression of surprise.

Uber said in a statement, “The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones. Our cars remain grounded, and we're assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can.”

Tempe Police reiterated that fault has not been determined in this case and the investigation is ongoing. But some experts in the field who have watched the video say something must be amiss — that the car should have avoided hitting Herzberg.

Todd Humphreys is an associate professor in aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and his research involves autonomous vehicles and how they perceive the world. He joins The Show to talk about this.

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