Re: Missing an item
There is an interesting point developing here, given what we are told about the traffic conditions, approaching the junction at that speed was possibly optimistic (being polite) or blatantly dangerous. Was the traffic stream flowing through at 40mph?, if so then one would expect a closely following vehicle to be involved as well. The indications are that this was not the case and the Uber vehicle chose to approach a junction, with adjacent slow or stationary traffic restricting visibility. This in itself suggests that their behaviour modelling is totally inappropriate (not a surprise).
Of course what needs to happen is that in the same way a human driver is tested, so should an AI driver. This could be taken further, with modelling by independent "Driving Test/Instructors", regulated and approved by the authorities. Possible those same authorities should have the code in ESCROW so that in the event an incident (not accident, there is a difference) occurs, what is in the vehicle can be independently assured.
There is an overhead, but given most of the push for this is tech companies trying to make money, then it should just be seen as another expense. Personally I would not trust any tech company to not bury poor code in the even of an incident, as the ensuing court cases would be a lawyers wet dream.
This is all to come and once again is where the technology is ahead of the regulation and equally, due to the amount of money and influence these companies have, it is in their interests for that status quo to remain.