And as cars start to go on general sale that are capable of self-steering and maintaining lane discipline on the highway, such as the Volvo S90, Mercedes E Class and Tesla Model S, it can seem to some that the age of the autonomous automobile is already here. The light turned yellow as the vehicle entered an intersection. Uber cars are programmed to always pass through a yellow light at their current speed if there is enough time to make it through the intersection. The driver thought it was clear and turned into the oncoming Uber SUV, according to the police report.
And when asked about the risks of distracted driving, 59 per cent of respondents said that they believe self-driving cars will be the key to eliminating this behavior and making roads safer for all. The vehicle was going at an estimated 38 mph, Murphy wrote, two miles per hour under the posted speed limit.
"There was no time to react as there was a blind spot created by the line of traffic in the southbound left lane on McClintock", Murphy wrote in his collision description. The Honda hit Uber's vehicle, pushing it into a traffic pole and causing it to turn on its side.
The report - made available Wednesday for anyone who is able to physically turn up at the police department (Bloomberg did so) - states that the Uber Volvo SUV was hit as it crossed an intersection by an oncoming auto that was turning left. None of the GM cars have been involved in accidents, said Kevin Kelly, the company's spokesman for advanced technology projects. Alexandra Cole, the driver of the Honda, told police that she could not see any cars coming when she decided to make the left turn. "Right as I got to the middle lane about to cross the third, I saw a auto flying through the intersection, but I couldn't brake fast enough to completely avoid the collision".
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The police report also contained statements from witnesses. "Unfortunately, our survey finds that many people are getting ahead of themselves - making plans for what they'll do in the vehicle instead of paying attention to the road".
Alexandra Cole, the driver of the Honda CR-V, was attempting to make a left turn across three lanes of traffic when the accident occurred. Still, Torres's account raises the question of whether Uber's self-driving sensors spotted the light turning yellow and, if so, whether it decided it could safely continue through the intersection. The company introduced a self-driving fleet to Pittsburgh customers about six months ago, later expanding tests into San Francisco and the Phoenix area.
California's rules for autonomous vehicles require a $5 million insurance policy, and the companies must reports accidents to the state within 10 days and release an annual tally documenting how many times test drivers had to take over.
After striking a deal with Volvo, the company started testing its self-driving vehicles on the road - with human drivers sitting in the cars to provide backup.