The world’s first robot car death was the result of human error — and it can happen again
On November 20th, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the results of its investigation into the 2018 fatal Uber crash in Tempe, Arizona, which was widely believed to be the world’s first death by a self-driving car.
But rather than slap the cuffs on Uber’s robot car, investigators instead highlighted the many human errors that culminated in the death of 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. And they sounded a warning: it could happen again.
“If your company tests automated driving systems on public roads, this crash, it was about you,” NTSB chair Robert Sumwalt said in his opening statement of the hearing yesterday.
When the board read aloud its findings on the probable cause of the crash in Tempe, the first person to be…