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March 20, 2018

Uber Stops Driverless-Car Testing After Fatal Rundown of Pedestrian in Arizona

Not ready for drive time:

Uber Technologies Inc. halted autonomous vehicle tests after one of its cars struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in what is likely the first pedestrian fatality involving the technology.

The 49-year-old woman, Elaine Herzberg, was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk when the Uber vehicle operating in autonomous mode under the supervision of a human safety driver struck her, according to the Tempe Police Department.

Anyone who's ever played Age of Empires kind of doubts computers' abilities as far as simple navigation.

Not trying to be funny -- it's just one of those thing where a computer shows how truly dumb it is. In Age of Empires, you'd see one of your little workers get hopelessly stuck in some trees, not seeing the obvious pathway around them, and you'd have to click them out of it with very short waypoints, basically saying "This way, stupid."

They're also not good yet at seeing.

Oh, they're better at all these things now, of course. But driving involves a lot of things that seem simple to a human but which are hard for a computer. The human eye easily separates moving foreground objects from the background, and the optic nerve begins calculating vectors of things moving in the eye's view. We have deep-coded reflexes that help us avoid collisions and take alert when something's moving towards us.

Even supercomputers just aren't good at these very basic animal-level abilities yet.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 05:44 PM

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