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Thread: Cyclist killed by self-driving car while walking her bike in AZ

  1. #1
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    Default Cyclist killed by self-driving car while walking her bike in AZ

    https://www.abc15.com/news/region-so...rash-overnight

    She was walking her bike at 10 PM Sunday outside the crosswalk from west to east at this spot in Google map(Street view link). Uber self-drivng car was going around 40 MPH in a 45 MPH zone, and it didn't show signs of slowing down when hitting the pedestrian. It was in autonomous mode with a driver behind the wheel. AZ is not a pure contributory negligence state, only 4 left: VA, MD, NC, and AL.

  2. #2
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    I have done a little work developing sensors for autonomous vehicles. I am absolutely not surprised that this happened.


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  3. #3
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    Paving parts of the median to look or act like pedestrian crossings, and then posting a sign that says "No pedestrians. Use crosswalk" (but providing no sidewalk to safely get you to the crosswalk) is terrible design. Or entrapment. Sue everybody.

  4. #4
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    https://www.sfchronicle.com/business..._medium=social

    From the article link: The incident happened within perhaps 100 yards of a crosswalk, Moir said. “It is dangerous to cross roadways in the evening hour when well-illuminated, managed crosswalks are available,” she said.

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    unlike most collisions, this one will be well documented. figuring out who screwed up shouldn't be that hard, and with much less hearsay than usual.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFHokie View Post
    From the article link: The incident happened within perhaps 100 yards of a crosswalk, Moir said. “It is dangerous to cross roadways in the evening hour when well-illuminated, managed crosswalks are available,” she said.
    A crosswalk 100 yards away (length of football field) is not one that is "available."

  7. #7
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    So what if the pedestrian was or was not in a crosswalk?

    Walking at night may or may not have been an issue. A common sensor for autonomous vehicles is a LIDAR, which is an active system which will work day or night. If the vehicle was using a passive sensor, many of the commercial systems in cars use an IR sensor, which should work at night.

    The part that interests me is that she was walking her bicycle. Having that in the scene along with the human might've confused the algorithm.

    However, there are many other factors that could have led to the failure. Image processing is complex, and dynamic urban scenes are extremely complex. Humans are very good at processing scenes (although not perfect, of course). Teaching a machine to do that, and to work in every possible situation, is extremely challenging.

  8. #8
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    If she was following the paved sidewalk in the median and the desire trails worn into the landscape on the opposite side of the road she had probably dismounted her bike to cross the road. It probably wasn't that she was just walking along the side of the road. I bet local human drivers know that people regularly cross at this unofficial crossing. Which is why authorities put up the no pedestrian sign. Unless the no pedestrian sign is one of those non-official (no certification stamp on the reverse) signs like the stop signs on the Custis trail put up by the Key Marriott at their entrance.

  9. #9
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    Camera footage now released. See on NPR page: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...elf-driving-ca

    Looks like (1) she was crossing from the paved median to the side with the desire trails. (2) The driver was not paying attention at all. And likely (3) the sensors either weren't working at all or the algorithm is not good enough. (as someone who works with/develops sensors and algorithms to find things in data, I know these things are only as good as all the cases the develops thought of, if that good. Pedestrians not at cross walks at night should have been thought of and designed for).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrP View Post
    Looks like (1) she was crossing from the paved median to the side with the desire trails.
    This is a design clusterf**k that was going to kill someone eventually, regardless of whether the car was self-driven or human-driven.

    There's a friggin' pathway in the median that leads to this point! The highway design essentially ENCOURAGES people to cross here.

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