Accidents Like Uber's Could Hurt Already Fragile Trust in Autonomous Cars, Says Mobileye CEO
In an Intel newsroom post, Amnon Shashua said that despite the poor quality of the video used, Mobileye's software identified the pedestrian a full second before impact
For daily updates, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.Last Monday, an Uber driverless car hit Ms. Herzberg as she was crossing a dimly-lit Arizona road late at night while carrying a bike. In a video released by the police, the car's driver is shown to be looking down right before impact. A Tempe police spokeswoman said the car, a 2017 Volvo, did not brake "significantly" before it crashed into the pedestrian.
Autonomous driving is a rapidly growing industry. Companies like Intel, Tesla, Google, General Motors, and Daimler AG are all racing ahead in the competition. In early March, Toyota announced it has partnered with automotive supplier Aisin Seiki and Denso to invest $2.8 billion into a new autonomous driving research company. And startups operating in the domain are raising larger and larger sums of money, like one-year-old Aurora, which raised $90 million in February.
But society expects autonomous vehicles to be held to a higher standard than human drivers, Mr. Shashua wrote. Ever since the industry began, one of its main pillars was the idea that such cars would reduce the death count, not add to it. Incidents such as Uber's, however, could damage the already shaky trust the public has in the industry, and pile on regulatory difficulty at a point where most regulators have started adjusting to the notion."I firmly believe the time to have a meaningful discussion on a safety validation framework for fully autonomous vehicles is now," Mr. Shashua concluded, ending with an invitation to automakers, technology companies in the field, regulators and other interested parties to convene and discuss the issue.