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Autonomous Vehicles Uber/Lyft

Uber Faces Barrage of Criticism From Peers

After an Uber self-driving test vehicle struck and killed a woman last week, the company’s  partners, rivals and peers have been highly critical of the autonomous car program, sometimes in strange ways. Aptiv, the supplier of a collision avoidance system (which is powered by Mobileye software) that comes standard on the Volvos that Uber uses for its self-driving car prototypes, said Uber had turned off those features. Well, duh. Uber was trying to develop a fully autonomous car; it wouldn’t make sense to mix that system with a separate braking feature Uber doesn’t control. The most painful insult came from Velodyne, a supplier of a lidar sensor Uber uses on its cars. Uber in 2016 reduced the number of Velodyne lidars on its cars, Reuters reported, citing former employees, and a Velodyne exec had the gall to imply that might be the reason Uber hit a pedestrian. (Also, many former Uber employees now work at rival autonomous car firms.) It’s true that Uber’s system made a grave and fundamental error, but Velodyne’s assumption makes no sense until we know what went wrong.

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