Uber Halts Nationwide Testing Of Self-Driving Vehicles Following Death of Pedestrian

By Nicholas West

Even as robotics experts, universities and tech luminaries sound the alarm about the potential for a future filled with killer robots powered by artificial intelligence, this technology already has arrived … minus the stringent ethics.

Fox News is reporting that a Tempe, Arizona woman was struck and killed near a crosswalk by an Uber vehicle that was in full autonomous mode at the time of the accident, despite having a human inside the vehicle. Fox stated that this is “an incident believed to be the first of its kind.”

While strictly correct that this is the first pedestrian killed, regular readers of Activist Post might recall that in July, 2016 I warned about some disturbing indications that this would be inevitable.

At the time, I highlighted the failure of Tesla’s autopilot sensors to detect an oncoming tractor trailer, which killed the test driver. Previous to that, there were ominous signs of this potential when Google’s self-driving cars first had failures that resulted in them being hit, but later actually caused an accident with a bus. As I stated then:

These incidents and dilemmas have thus far occurred during training and testing, which might mitigate some of the seriousness, but nonetheless points to some genuine flaws that should preclude these vehicles from being widely employed.

Now that autonomous vehicles have been unleashed upon the public, we are starting to see the unfortunate ramifications. To Uber’s credit, they at least are announcing a halt to all autonomous testing nationwide.

Aside from the technical challenges, questions have been raised about the ethics and morality that will be required in certain fatal situations. That area, too, has raised eyebrows. Is it right to sacrifice the lives of some to save others?

The standards are already becoming morally complex. Google X’s Chris Urmson, the company’s director of self-driving cars, said the company was trying to work through some difficult problems. Where to turn – toward the child playing in the road or over the side of the overpass?

Google has come up with its own Laws of Robotics for cars: “We try to say, ‘Let’s try hardest to avoid vulnerable road users, and beyond that try hardest to avoid other vehicles, and then beyond that try to avoid things that that don’t move in the world,’ and then to be transparent with the user that that’s the way it works,” Urmson said. (Source)

The truth is that researchers are still in the process of developing foolproof sensor systems and artificial intelligence that can properly recognize all surroundings and develop true situational awareness, yet they continue to be deployed into the real world. It’s also worth noting that the general public is overwhelmingly concerned about having A.I. vehicles in public, as Fox News cites a 78% disapproval.

Now we will wait to see if the response to this event will be a technological solution or a political one. As The Daily Sheeple rightly notes, this very well could be a crisis that the government can’t let go to waste. Currently, regulations for autonomous vehicles tend to vary by state. Will this Uber accident spur quick calls for stricter federal oversight?

The fatal crash will most likely prompt an even bigger and overbearing government response complete with regulations for self-driving cars. Legislators are already debating how much freedom the private sector should have.  The proposed bills would preempt states from establishing their own laws overseeing autonomous testing, which could clash with California’s well-established system. But the bill is stalled in the Senate, with several lawmakers “expressing concern about the amount of leeway offered to the private sector.” Translation: the intrusive government is debating how much if any, freedom the private sector deserves. (Repeat: “we are free.”)

Please give us your thoughts about the solutions that are needed as Big Tech is all-in on autonomous vehicles.

Nicholas West writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon for as little as $1 per month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Steemit, and BitChute. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.

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9 Comments on "Uber Halts Nationwide Testing Of Self-Driving Vehicles Following Death of Pedestrian"

  1. Patrick Wise | March 19, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Reply

    When the bots take over, the useless eaters will be lined up on the freeway overpasses watching the free entertainment. 1000 car pile up, good times…

  2. Sorry this should be OUTLAWED! Computer glitches,hacks and failures are too common. Hell just getting/keeping the fancy electronics for phones & GPS functional in a human operated car can be a challenge. Ever dropped a call because you hit a dead spot or drove thru interference? Try that with a runaway tractor trailer truck. This is all about the wealthy trying to cut expenses by cutting jobs. Pretty soon you will have no one to buy your crap stupid. Also do we really want AI deciding who lives & who dies?

  3. Psychic Warrior | March 20, 2018 at 7:29 am | Reply

    The chips are hackable from third parties of criminal intent, therefore this fatal tech is more junk science that makes a profit and will be allowed to continue. Technology is another means of going backwards faster.

  4. “Big Tech is all-in on autonomous vehicles.”
    Wrong. Our global elite controllers (which includes corporations AND govt) are “all in” on these vehicles.

    The central plan calls for a future where all vehicles will be electric, self driving and NOT OWNED by you and me. The concept is “mobility as a service”. All mobility will be tracked and controlled and just open your wallet because you will pay dearly for the privilege to travel.

    It is time to wake up to the fact that we are under global central planning. Such planning is deliberate and patient – operating under the ‘boil the frog slowly” technique. Their mantra as always is “safety” but we all know that computers are as error prone as humans – they are not better than humans.

    Mass resistance – stop buying these “connected” cars – is the only way to stop the plan.
    The National Highway Transportation and Safety Agency has a docket pending to mandate two way radios and “basic safety messaging” in all new cars. Once this goes through – it is all over.

  5. The thing to understand about artificial intelligence is that the artificial version of anything is never as good as the original.

  6. William Burke | March 20, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Reply

    Solutions you say? How about this: NO “killer kars” or self-wrecking vehicles. PERIOD! How long before someone gets into one and instead of taking him to his destination, it delivers him downtown for questioning? Or to the morgue?

    No, no, no, no, no, no, NO.

  7. Todd Millions | March 22, 2018 at 8:00 am | Reply

    I have extensive experience on two wheelers on Canadian gravel autobahns, blacktop roads and streets of more decades than I can easily count. Bikes and motorized, at all times day and night -in all weathers.
    I would suggest this might Not be an accident. Or a technical breakthrough. A computerized Butt head on a “They are not heavy enough to hurt me” kill run would not require much of an AI or powerful computing capacity. A virtual copy of a texting hockey mom in a SUV tank is hardly a breakthrough technically or otherwise. Then there is the microwaves from the collision systems On Top of the phones and smart meters-a potent weapons systems package indeed.
    Oh well-I suppose I can line my bike helmets with aluminum foil. But a foil crotch cover for my spandex shorts will be trickery to fix in place, and I’m Not going to try crazy glue again! The reflective strips and lights? Are aiming points my dears. Experience shows they must be on the bike-not the peadelier.
    That way on dark and stormy nights, you can leave the wheels too be hit -whilst you roll for the ditch.

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