The NTSB has released “Preliminary Report Highway HWY18MH010,” on the Uber self-driving car which struck and killed a woman. I haven’t had a chance to read the report carefully.
Brad Templeton has excellent analysis of the report at “NTSB Report implies serious fault for Uber in fatality” (and Brad’s writings overall on the subject have been phenomenal.)
A few important things to note, cribbed from Brad.
- The driver was not looking at her phone, but a screen with diagnostic information from the self-driving systems.
- The car detected a need to brake with approximately enough time to stop had it automatically applied the brakes.
- That system was turned off for a variety of reasons that look bad (in hindsight, and probably could have been critiqued at the time).
My only comment right now is wouldn’t it be nice to have this level of fact finding in the world of cyber?
Also, it’s very clear that the vehicle was carefully preserved. Can anyone say how the NTSB and/or Uber preserved the data center, cloud or other remote parts of the computer systems involved, including the algorithms that were deployed that day (versus reconstructing them later)?