[SystemSafety] Uber "self-driving" cars run red lights on Day 1

Michael J. Pont M.Pont at SafeTTy.net
Thu Dec 22 12:17:41 CET 2016

I'm just catching up with this discussion, and may be out of date - but my reading of this situation is that Uber may not be entirely wrong ...

>From the company website:

"We’re inviting our most loyal Pittsburgh customers to experience the future first. If a Self-Driving Uber is available, we’ll send it along with a safety driver up front to make sure the ride goes smoothly."

In other words, there is a 'safety driver' in the Uber vehicle.

This isn't a fully autonomous vehicle (and the company may not need a permit).

Blaming problems (such as jumping red lights) on 'human error' isn't 100% unreasonable either, since this is presumably what the safety driver is there for.


Michael J. Pont
SafeTTy Systems

-----Original Message-----
From: systemsafety [mailto:systemsafety-bounces at lists.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de] On Behalf Of Peter Bernard Ladkin
Sent: 15 December 2016 06:11
To: The System Safety List <systemsafety at techfak.uni-bielefeld.de>
Subject: [SystemSafety] Uber "self-driving" cars run red lights on Day 1


Apparently Uber introduced "self-driving" cars in San Francisco and on the first day of operation there was more than one instance noted by witnesses of such vehicles running a red light.

Uber says it was "human error".

I guess we can expect such semi-contradictory statements about such operations when they go wrong.
When they go right, it'll be "the car is driving itself".

Uber thinks it doesn't need a permit to operate the vehicles. The California Department of Motor Vehicles apparently disagrees and says Uber does need a permit.


Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Bielefeld, Germany MoreInCommon Je suis Charlie
Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319  www.rvs-bi.de

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