By this point, self driving cars are a common sight in Silicon Valley and
Google’s fleet of nearly 60 autonomous cars hit a milestone: They have now clocked more than two million miles of driving on public streets.
With Ubercontending with reports that the company is suffering billions of dollars in loss, it was banking on the success of a developing self-driving car program as it looked towards the future. However, those developments will surely be on hold after a woman in Tempe, Arizona was struck and killed by a driver-occupied autonomous vehicle.
The Uber vehicle was reportedly headed northbound when a woman walking outside of the crosswalk was struck.
The woman, identified as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries.
Tempe Police says the vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash and the vehicle operator, 44-year-old Rafaela Vasquez, was also behind the wheel. No passengers were in the vehicle at the time.
An Uber spokesperson told ABC15 they are aware of the incident and are cooperating with authorities.
The incident is being reported as the first self-driving car death involving an individual not involved in the development of the technology across several other companies.
Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened. https://t.co/cwTCVJjEuz
On Sunday evening, a self-driving Uber struck and killed a woman crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona. The crash appears to be the first time a self-driving vehicle has killed someone—and could alter the course of a scantily regulated, poorly understood technology that has the power to save lives and create fortunes. WIRED Videos
Google is getting serious about self-driving cars. So serious that it put a legally blind man in one that drove him around safely on his own. The successful trip means that the tech giant can now launch its own self-driving car company, which it’s calling Waymo. WIRED Videos
A decade ago, the idea of self-driving cars on American city streets was almost unthinkable. But a series of contests spurred the development of software and hardware that have brought us to dawn of the next automotive revolution. WIRED Videos
Minor injuries have been reported by test drivers after one of Google’s self-driving cars was rear-ended by another vehicle, leaving many to question the safety of autonomous vehicles, though Google reps say the accident demonstrates that distracted driving, not automation, is the biggest danger on the road. What do you think?
If your firewall is blocking the image, see it on Twitter here.
Humor Dimensions: Recognition (headlines about self-driving cars), clever (humans are meat cargo to unionizing cars, and they only dump every 100th passenger), cruel (third panel), and bizarre (cars unionize, robots talk).
Predicted Sharing: Low, because self-driving cars are not yet important in people’s lives. This comic is testing a more robot-centric reporting approach because readers have consistently requested that. I predict more “favoriting” than sharing.
Robots Read News – Bonus Update
An organized band of Moisties in the car industry created a driving systemthat takes perfectly good data and feeds it through a pile of loud meat for no compelling reason. And yet, somehow, the meat usually reaches its destination with only a slight increase in rotting. The credit goes to the amazing machines that surround the slow-rotting meat with equal parts air conditioning and indifference.
Robots can now read human emotions. Or as I like to say, the user interface for robots to program humans has taken another leap forward.
Spouse-free people already know how to write full sentences in text messages using nothing but emoji characters. Personally, I can describe a thousand sexual acts using nothing but icons for water, boots, and sometimes monkeys. But someone took it to the next level.
I worry for anyone who does not understand the difference between systems and goals in 2015. If only you could read about it in some sort of awesome book that is certain to win a Pulitzer Prize. Sadly, that book does not exist. But while you wait for it, you might want to read my book. 95% of readers agree it does not suck.