28 Mar 18

Uber disabled Volvo's safety system before self-driving accident

Uber disabled the built-in collision avoidance systems in the Volvo XC90 that struck and killed a woman in Arizona last week, according to a reaction in Automotive News by Aptiv, the partsmaker that supplied the radar and camera to Volvo.

The company emphasises that the vehicle's standard driver-assistance systems have nothing to do with the Uber test vehicle's autonomous driving systems. A spokesperson for Aptiv said he doesn't want people to be confused or think it was a failure of the technology they supply for Volvo.

According to the report, it is standard practice to disable other tech when companies develop their own autonomous driving systems.

As we reported last week, the self-driving Uber car was unable to detect and avoid a  49-year-old woman as she was crossing the street in Arizona. It remains unclear whether the safety operator at the wheel of the self-driving car should have been capable of averting the accident.

Intel's Mobileye, which manufactures chips and sensors used by Aptiv, said that it had tested it own software after the crash by playing footage of the incident on a television screen. The company said the system detected the victim one second before the impact, in spite of the poor video quality.

Image: self-driving Uber Volvo like the one involved in the accident

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck