You don’t have to be a traditional pupper to be a Good Boy.
In the four months since an Uber self-driving car struck and killed a woman in Arizona, the ride-hail company’s autonomous vehicle tech has stayed off public roads.To prep for the tech’s return to the public space, Uber has undertaken a wholesale “safety review”, with the help of former National Transportation Safety Board chair and aviation expert Christopher Hart.The broader impact of that review—whether it can put this tech back on the road while preventing the sort of crash that killed Elaine Herzberg—remains to be seen.When the National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report on the Uber crash in May, it noted that the company’s self-driving software had not properly recognized Herzberg as she crossed the road.As far back as World War II, those who study human-machine interactions have said this kind of reliance is a mistake.The changes Uber announced today, though still light on details, focus on that attention issue, and seem to bring the company up to speed with the standards of the industry, safety driver-wise.
A safety driver operating an Uber self-driving vehicle looked down at a phone that was streaming The Voice on Hulu 204 times during a 43-minute test drive that ended when pedestrian Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed in Tempe, Arizona, according to a 318-page police report reviewed by TechCrunch.The Tempe Police Department released late Thursday evening the report on the fatal self-driving car crash that occurred in a Phoenix suburb in March.The lengthy report reveals that safety driver Rafaela Vasquez was streaming the show The Voice on her phone at the time of the crash.Police determined that Vasquez’s eyes were off the road for 3.67 miles of the 11.8 total miles driven, or about 31 percent of the time.Based on the data, police reported that Vasquez could have avoided hitting Herzberg if her eyes were on the road.The case has been submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney’s office for review against Vasquez, who could face charges of vehicular manslaughter.
Today, US transport authorities have recommended new safety guidelines for semi-autonomous vehicles in the wake of a fatal crash, Apple has revealed two new iPhone ranges, Chelsea Manning has warned against bias in AI and more.The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has found that Tesla's Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system bore some responsibility in a fatal collision between a Model S and an HGV, although the car's 40-year-old driver was deemed to be ultimately responsible for his own death (BBC News).NTSB investigator Christopher Hart said: "In this crash, Tesla's system worked as designed, but it was designed to perform limited tasks in a limited range of environments.Tesla allowed the driver to use the system outside of the environment for which it was designed, and the system gave far more leeway to the driver to divert his attention to something other than driving".The NTSB has, as a result, issued safety recommendations requiring the makers of autonomous systems to add safeguards preventing them from being used outside their recommended operational parameters.Apple has announced the iPhone X and iPhone 8, along with updates for the Apple Watch – which now has a mobile SIM – and Apple TV (WIRED).
Tech giants like Google, Tesla and most car makers — from Toyota to Ford and Volvo — are betting billions to get intelligent self-driving cars on the road as soon as possible.Earlier this month, Apple became the 30th company to be granted permission to test autonomous vehicles on California by the state’s DMV.Even Amazon is reported to have created a team to understand how to best leverage the upcoming revolution.Hours after being deployed in San Francisco in December, Uber’s autonomous cars were caught running a red light.Last year in Florida, a Tesla driver died in a crash when the car, on autopilot, confused a truck making a turn for an overhead road sign.“I don’t see the ideal of complete automation coming anytime soon,” Christopher Hart, former president of the National Transportation Safety Board, said recently.“There’s no software designer in the world that’s ever going to be smart enough to anticipate all the potential circumstances… the dog that runs out into the street, the person who runs up the street, the bicyclist, the policeman or the construction worker,” he said.So are we stuck with only humans as drivers for years to come?
Even in the dingy, often thankless role of character actor, Christopher Hart holds a special position of anonymity.Originally and still a magician, Hart developed amazing dexterity in his hands, which led him to play Thing in the Addams Family movies.While a single hand might not seem expressive in concept, Hart brought playfulness and energy to the role, as No Small Parts points out.Consequently, it also pigeonholed him as the disembodied hand guy, which he would rehash in varying degrees for the rest of his career.Quicksilver Highway, One Hand, Left, an episode of Angel called predictably The Hands, and the Devon Sawa horror comedy Idle Hands?All movies with manic, severed hands.