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Archive for the ‘Uber’ Category

Governor Suspends Uber Autonomous Testing in Arizona

Move follows fatal crash and questions about service’s self-driving technology.

by on Mar.27, 2018

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered the suspension of Uber's autonomous testing program.

In the wake of a fatal crash earlier this month, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has suspended the permit allowing ride-sharing service Uber to test self-driving vehicles on the state’s public roads.

The move comes as state and public regulators try to find out why a Volvo SUV modified by Uber to drive with only a backup “operator” slammed into a 49-year-old pedestrian crossing a four-lane road on the evening of March 18 without even slowing or trying to swerve out of the way. The incident has raised broader concerns about autonomous technology – but also questions Arizona’s relatively laissez faire approach to testing such vehicles on public roads.

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“In the best interests of the people of my state, I have directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to suspend Uber’s ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles on Arizona’s public roadways,” Ducey announced. (more…)

Waymo’s Krafcik Joins Industry Chorus Questioning Uber’s Techonology

Concerns about faulty tech growing inside and out of industry.

by on Mar.26, 2018

Waymo CEO John Krafcik told a crowd at NADA that its autonomous vehicle would have not hit Elaine Herzberg.

A self-driving Uber’s fatal collision with a pedestrian in Arizona is inviting scrutiny and criticism of the company’s technological capabilities from safety advocates, industry experts and the company’s direct competition: Waymo.

“We have a lot of confidence that our technology would be robust and would be able to handle situations like that one,” said Waymo Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik last weekend.

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On March 18, Elaine Herzberg, 49, was struck by Uber’s Volvo XC90 as she walked her bicycle across a four-lane boulevard. The vehicle never attempted to stop or move to avoid her. The vehicle’s safety driver, Rafaela Vasquez, 44, was looking down at the time and didn’t see Herzberg until it was too late to act. (more…)

Uber Fatality Investigation Produces More Questions Than Answers

NTSB, NHTSA assisting in accident query.

by on Mar.22, 2018

The Tempe (Arizona) Police Department released the video footage of Uber's collision with a pedestrian.

The video chronicling the fatal accident between an Uber vehicle in autonomous test mode and a woman crossing a street with her bike has opened up a Pandora’s Box of questions for the ride-sharing giant and other companies looking to develop self-driving vehicles.

The first is, of course, how did the system not recognize her and take action to avoid the problem? The vehicle’s system had plenty of time to take action, but did nothing, eventually running over Elaine Herzberg, as she walked her bike across four lanes of traffic at night in Tempe, Arizona.

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

Toyota Will “Pause” Testing of Autonomous Vehicles on Public Roads

Hyundai adding “caution” to its program; Boston mayor wants autonomous tests halted in city.

by on Mar.20, 2018

In light to Uber's autonomous vehicle killing a pedestrian, other companies are revisiting their testing plans and procedures.

Reaction has been quick in the wake of a fatal Phoenix crash involving a prototype autonomous vehicle operated by ride-sharing service Uber, at least one major automaker saying it will temporarily “pause” testing of its own self-driving vehicles on public roads.

Though police in the suburb of Tempe say preliminary evidence indicates the Uber-modified Volvo SUV was not at fault in the death of a pedestrian Sunday night, the incident has raised flags that could slow the race to put self-driving technology on the road.

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While Toyota issued a statement noting that it “cannot speculate on the cause of the incident or what it may mean to the automated driving industry going forward,” the automaker added in a statement that, “Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have decided to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads.” (more…)

Teamsters Highlight Safety Problems with Autonomous Testing

Pedestrian death highlights gaps in safety, union says.

by on Mar.20, 2018

The Teamsters have been concerned about the impact that autonomous trucks will have on its membership.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters re-iterated its concerns with the ongoing testing and implementation of self-driving technology after an Uber test vehicle in autonomous mode struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The union has been instrumental in the ongoing fight about proposed legislation making it easier to put self-driving cars on public roads.

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The sparring has become a struggle between some biggest car and technology companies in the world against not only the Teamsters but also consumer and safety advocates who argue that the driverless are not yet roadworthy. (more…)

Self-Driving Uber Test Vehicle Kills Pedestrian

Company halts all autonomous testing.

by on Mar.19, 2018

An Uber Volvo XC90 was involved in a minor crash, getting flipped onto its side, during a test program near Phoenix last year.

Company’s testing autonomous vehicles and self-driving technologies have one giant fear, a fatality. That fear became a reality last night for Uber as one of its self-driving vehicles killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The incident occurred when the vehicle was in autonomous mode; however, there was a safety engineer behind the wheel, which is standard Uber practice. There were no other passengers in the vehicle at the time.

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According to a USA Today report, the woman, who has not yet been named, was crossing outside the designated crosswalk at about 10 p.m. when she was hit, police said. (more…)

Uber Expanding Autonomous Truck Testing in Arizona

Company is looking to resolve a couple of problems with testing.

by on Mar.09, 2018

Uber Freight is testing autonomous trucks in Arizona to see what their capabilities are and what system may work best for them.

Uber has moved from testing its self-driving cars in select markets to now putting its autonomous trucks through their paces on delivery runs in Arizona.

According to the company, it began its program in November, including contracting with trucking companies to use its own autonomous Volvo big rigs to take over loads as they traverse the state.

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The program calls for a trucker to meet the self-driving truck at the Arizona state border, which then takes the load across the state before handing it off to a second conventional trucker for the short-haul trip. During the autonomous trip, an Uber employee rides in the driver seat of the autonomous truck to monitor the truck and would only need to drive in the event of an emergency. (more…)

Uber Settles With Waymo for $245 Million

Company says it "regrets" the issue; promises to use only Uber technology.

by on Feb.09, 2018

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi continues to rehabilitate the company's image.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi continues to knock down the roadblocks to the ride-sharing company’s progress as the company settled a long-running dispute with rival Waymo over trade secrets.

The company paid $245 million of its own stock to Waymo, the spinoff of Google’s autonomous vehicle business, and an agreement to not use any Waymo-based technology in its development of self-driving vehicles, according to a Reuters report.

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The settlement came as the two sides were about to begin a fifth day in court over the dispute, which has been costing Uber time and money as it looks to rehabilitate its reputation on multiple fronts. (more…)

Taking Uber to Work Cheaper than Driving Yourself

Study shows in some markets ride-sharing costs less for daily commute.

by on Feb.05, 2018

A new study suggests that it's cheaper to Uber to and from work than to drive your own car.

A new study suggests that in some major metropolitan area, among them Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit, it’s cheaper to drive to work using Uber than it is to drive a personal automobile.

Aside from the cost of a trip on Uber or Uber Pool, which varies from region to region, insurance and parking are the key factors in driving up the cost of commuting driving 10.4 miles-one way to work, according to the study from NerdWallet.

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“NerdWallet examined data from a variety of sources to compare the cost of commuting each week via ridesharing service Uber vs. a personal vehicle in the 20 largest U.S. metropolitan areas by population, to see if owning a vehicle for work is cost-effective. (more…)

Toaster-Shaped Nuro R1 Could Soon Pop Up as Driverless Delivery Van

Silicon Valley start-up aims to launch driverless delivery service this year.

by on Jan.31, 2018

The R1 is about as long and tall as a Toyota Highlander, but barely half as wide.

It looks like a four-wheeled toaster, but when the Nuro R1 starts popping up later this year it will be bringing packages from online and local retail shops, according to the company’s founders.

The race to put self-driving vehicles on the road is rapidly heating up, and it’s a question of which will come first: robot taxis or automated delivery vans. If Nuro has its way, it will get a head start on companies like Waymo and General Motors, which hope to launch the first driverless ride-sharing services sometime in 2019.

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Considering the tens of billions of dollars in goods that roll across the nation’s highways each year, experts see a potentially lucrative market for driverless long-haul trucks. Several companies have already demonstrated prototypes, including Uber subsidiary Otto. But Nuro is targeting the final leg of the journey.

(more…)