The first death of a pedestrian from a blow from a robomobile was explained by the human factor

The first death of a pedestrian from a blow from a robomobile was explained by the human factor

November 22, 2019 0 By autotimesnews

The investigation laid the main blame on the operator of the Uber robomobile, which was distracted by the smartphone during the trip. However, the responsibility for the incident lies with the company’s management, as well as federal regulators.

In March 2018, under the wheels of the Uber robotic car, 49-year-old American Elaine Herzberg died. An incident in Tempe, Arizona, is considered the world’s first fatal drone accident.

The investigation of this story was carried out by the American National Transport Safety Council (NTSB) for a year and a half. The organization’s experts concluded that the cause of the accident was the mistake of the machine operator Rafaela Vazquez. Instead of following the road, she, in violation of Uber’s rules for insurance drivers, was immersed in watching TV shows on her smartphone, Verge reports.

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Although the main blame for the death of Herzberg lay with Vazquez, the organization also points to problems in the leadership of Uber. At the time of the accident, the company had neither a corporate safety plan for testing robotic vehicles, nor employees responsible for risk assessment and mitigation.

Just a week before the incident, it was decided to reduce the number of operators in Uber robotic vehicles from two to one. If not for this decision, Herzberg would most likely have survived.

NTSB experts came to the conclusion that Uber and other companies formally relate to the work of operators driving robotic vehicles, relying too much on automation.
The authorities have the wrong priorities

A separate portion of criticism went to the National Directorate for Road Safety. The NTSB said that the regulator gives priority to technological progress, rather than saving lives. In particular, it does not require companies developing robomobiles to submit any reports other than voluntary safety assessments, more like advertising brochures. Moreover, only a few market participants provide them.

Experts call for stricter industry regulation that will force companies to pay more attention to travel safety. Otherwise, incidents like the Tempe accident will be repeated more often. This will not only lead to deaths, but will also cause serious reputation damage to the companies themselves, as well as to the whole idea of ​​autonomous transport.

The investigation of this story was carried out by the American National Transport Safety Council (NTSB) for a year and a half. The organization’s experts concluded that the cause of the accident was the mistake of the machine operator Rafaela Vazquez. Instead of following the road, she, in violation of Uber’s rules for insurance drivers, was immersed in watching TV shows on her smartphone, Verge reports.

Although the main blame for the death of Herzberg lay with Vazquez, the organization also points to problems in the leadership of Uber. At the time of the accident, the company had neither a corporate safety plan for testing robotic vehicles, nor employees responsible for risk assessment and mitigation.

  Just a week before the incident, it was decided to reduce the number of operators in Uber robotic vehicles from two to one. If not for this decision, Herzberg would most likely have survived.

NTSB experts came to the conclusion that Uber and other companies formally relate to the work of operators driving robotic vehicles, relying too much on automation.
The authorities have the wrong priorities

A separate portion of criticism went to the National Directorate for Road Safety. The NTSB said that the regulator gives priority to technological progress, rather than saving lives. In particular, it does not require companies developing robomobiles to submit any reports other than voluntary safety assessments, more like advertising brochures. Moreover, only a few market participants provide them.

Experts call for stricter industry regulation that will force companies to pay more attention to travel safety. Otherwise, incidents like the Tempe accident will be repeated more often. This will not only lead to deaths, but will also cause serious reputation damage to the companies themselves, as well as to the whole idea of ​​autonomous transport.