Will Uber's Crash Scare Away Investors From Self-Driving Stocks Like Tesla?

21 March, 2018, 08:15 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
  • Self-Driving Uber Car Crashes In Arizona — Kills Pedestrian

A fatal crash in the United States involving a driverless Uber auto highlights why Australia should not test the high-tech vehicles on open public roads, the Transport Workers Union says.

"The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them". However, this will likely remind investors just how far away we are from when driver-less vehicles will become commonplace, while also underscoring the very serious risks that are involved.

It's too soon to draw any conclusions from the preliminary information that has emerged, said Brian Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of SC who has studied autonomous vehicle liability.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are looking into the accident.

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Rafaela Vasquez, 44, the operator of the Volvo, who was in the driver's seat, reportedly had the vehicle in self-driving mode when he struck a woman who was walking outside the crosswalk Monday.

"We needed our message to Uber, Lyft and other entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley to be that Arizona was open to new ideas", Doug Ducey, Arizona's governor, said in an interview in June 2017.

Uber's Advanced Technologies Group office in Tempe appeared empty on Tuesday except for a security guard who said only a small security crew was working at the site since the accident.

The victim, Elaine Heerzberg, 49, suddenly walked from a center median into a lane of traffic before being hit by the vehicle operating in autonomous mode, Sylvia Moir, police chief in Tempe, told the newspaper.

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The outcome of the investigations in Arizona will be pivotal for companies racing to profit from robo-taxi services and automated delivery vehicles. The ride-hailing company said it didn't think it needed to obtain permits, because they never had and didn't feel like it was necessary to conduct its tests.

The company was testing in MI and California, and unveiled a new-generation self-driving tester at this year's CES event in Las Vegas in January.

Analysts and experts said the fatality involving Uber could slow progress toward deployment in the sector.

The Colorado PUC said at the time that Uber should have disqualified those drivers, who had issues ranging from felony convictions to driving under the influence and reckless driving, the Post reported.

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