World’s first self-driving death investigation released: Multi-Party responsibility

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released the world’s first self-driving death finding,media reported. In March 2018, an Uber self-driving car killed a woman crossing the road in Tempe, Arizona. Instead of blaming autopilot technology squarely, investigators highlighted many mistakes. Taxi companies, drivers, victims and the Arizona state are all responsible for the accident.

World's first self-driving death investigation released: Multi-Party responsibility

The main person responsible for the accident was the driver, Vasquez, who watched the show on her mobile phone and did not pay any attention to the road conditions, in violation of Uber’s ban on mobile phones.

The victim, Herzberg, was found to have meth in her system, so her condition may have prevented her from walking the crosswalk. The NTSB also accused the Arizona government of failing to improve regulations to regulate self-driving vehicles.

Uber was found not criminally liable by U.S. prosecutors in March, though the NTSB said the company’s disregard for safety was also a factor in Herzberg’s death. Uber has done enough in terms of risk assessment and control, and regulation of safe drivers.

Mary Cummings, director of The Human and Autonomous Laboratory at Duke University, said one of the implicit lessons of the incident was that safety drivers didn’t do their part. Self-driving car companies often hire safety drivers from independent contractors to test and provide feedback, but in fact they don’t do their due diligence in testing.

Because of the high tolerance of self-driving technology, many auto companies and technology companies have chosen to apply for road tests in the United States. The report, which could tighten u.S. road tests, also provided a warning.

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