Onboard Video of Uber’s Fatal Crash Proves Humans, Nor Machines Can be Trusted
How many people have to die before people realize this technology isn’t ready?by Robert Moore, on
Before we get to a video that will probably give you chills and your kid’s nightmares, let me just point out that, while some outlets claim this is the first fatal accident involving a self-driving car in the States, it isn’t. Remember when the Tesla Model S didn’t recognize a semi truck in front of it and killed its driver? Yeah, that happened. Be that as it may, Tesla isn’t in the spotlight today; Uber is, and so is the entire human race. We have this technology that, when properly developed and tested, could be absolutely amazing and save lives. Yet, we’re putting it in the hands of the general public for testing and, if Tesla drivers haven’t proven they don’t have the discipline to test a potentially dangerous technology, this Uber driver definitely has.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The person is smart, but people are stupid, and this video proves exactly that. As the video starts, you see the human driver that is supposed to be paying attention looking downward twice in about 5 seconds (probably looking at their phone, no doubt) when suddenly they look shocked as the “self-driving” Volvo strikes a pedestrian. This is proof No. 1 that people can’t be trusted. This person had one job and failed at it miserably, costing someone their life. Proof No. 2 that people can’t be trusted comes from the person that was hit. Who, in their right mind, crosses a dark street with zero reflective gear and doesn’t notice headlights coming at you?
Next up to be nailed to the cross is Uber’s technology. Clearly, this technology has a serious fault in it. Sure, the cameras probably couldn’t see the pedestrian until the last minute, but what about the LIDAR and RADAR? Those should have picked up the person on the street long before we could even see them. And, this is proof that machines can’t be trusted either.
At the end of the day, this new (and promising) technology shouldn’t be in the hands of people who don’t have the discipline to do their damn job. That pedestrian couldn’t be seen until the last second, but there was still enough time, had the driver been paying attention and had the reflexes to react, to either stop or slow down and swerve, either avoiding the accident altogether or, at the very least, preventing the fatality.
In the end, this proves just any Joe Shmoe with an itch for a job shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a self-driving car. The testing phase can probably continue on public roads, but it needs to do so with people that have proven to have the discipline to pay attention and do their job. Until that can happen, and all of these sensors and cameras can be tweaked to work as they should, these disasters waiting to happen shouldn’t be on the road. Oh, and for that Uber driver, I don’t think they should be charged with murder, but involuntary manslaughter or, at the very least, reckless endangerment shouldn’t be out of the question. The ball was dropped, and a lesson needs to be learned by not only the driver, but other people tasked with the same job.
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