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Uber Test Vehicles Involved In 37 Crashes Before Fatal Self-Driving Incident

Uber’s autonomous test vehicles were involved in 37 crashes in the 18 months before a fatal March 2018 self-driving car accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Tuesday. Reuters reports: The board said between September 2016 and March 2018, there were 37 crashes of Uber vehicles in autonomous mode at the time, including 33 that involved another vehicle striking test vehicles. In one incident, the test vehicle struck a bent bicycle lane bollard that partially occupied the test vehicle’s lane of travel. In another incident, the operator took control to avoid a rapidly approaching oncoming vehicle that entered its lane of travel. The vehicle operator steered away and struck a parked car. The NTSB will hold a probable cause hearing on the crash Nov. 19. A spokeswoman for Uber’s self-driving car division said the company has “adopted critical program improvements to further prioritize safety. We deeply value the thoroughness of the NTSB’s investigation into the crash and look forward to reviewing their recommendations.”

Bloomberg is also reporting that Uber’s self-driving test car wasn’t programmed to recognize and react to jawalkers. The report said “the system design did not include a consideration for jaywalking pedestrians.” [Elaine Herzberg, the 49-year-old pedestrian that was struck by one of Uber’s self-driving cars] was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk.


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