Reply to post: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame? - No

Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?

Alan Johnson

Was LIDAR blind spot to blame? - No

To answer the question in the title of the article - No for at leats two reasons.

1. The predestrian and her bike cannot possibly have been in a blind spot for the LIDAR. They were large and tall objects exactly in locations where the lIDAR should be designed to look with nothing obstructing the view. If the LIDAR could not look in thes elocations there would be no point to it.

2. If the LIDAR is critial to safety then it should not be the sole sensor used. I have no idea how the vehicle is deisgned but the article mentions multiple radars.

It is much much more likely that something in the algorithms or the implementation of the algorithms was wrong and despite having input from sensors that picked up the women and bike the vehicle simply failed to brake or slow down in any way.

What is shocking about this incident is that it was almost ideal conditions. Long straight road without other vehicles and a clear unobstructed view of a predestrian for hundreds of yards who is slowly but consistently moving. Something that hits an object inder these conditions has serious flaws and you would expect multiple independant systems would be in place to prevent such a collision. The only thing worse would be to hit a stationary object. Some combination of dififcult conditions would make this understandable: a winding road with multiple vehicles, fog or smoke, and a predestrian who moved out from a location where they were obscured, a small child without a bike who was low to the ground, slippery surface that was difficult to brake on etc. None of this was present.

Ther shoudl be a detailed investigation and a focus on risk management because on the face of it the accident suggests negligence.

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