No fuck that and fuck you.
If you've got LIDAR, GPS, a dozen cameras and 3GHz clock speed your job - your only job - is to keep your three tons of kinetic steel and any stationary object from being coincident in time and space. Leonhardt over at the NYT is also in a "let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater" frame of mind but he's a long fucking walk from "if a robot crushes a human it's the human's fault."
repeat after me: any device whose reflexes and responses aren't better than a human's can't have a driver's license. Full stop. No discussion.
1 camera, Qualcomm snapdragon, off-the-shelf hardware, two-year-old video.
Walk with me: Let's give the fuckers a Snapdragon 808 because this analogy should hurt. An 808 will run at 2 GHz. Let's put the fuckin' video resolution at 720p, because we're in Bulgaria. That gives us 1 arcsecond of resolution. Let's be really awful and run it at 30 frames and fuckin'A, let's have our poor dead lady wandering out onto the goddamn freeway at 70MPH. And you know what? We won't even let the car swerve. It has to brake or nothing.
Ready to play?
Uber tests with Volvo XC-90s, which has a tested stopping distance from 70mph of 167 feet. Wolfram Alpha tells me that if that car doesn't so much as tap the brakes, it'll take 1.67 seconds to cover the distance; this calculator tells me that with a wide-angle fuckin' lens at 50m, a 2m lady is 18 pixels tall.
So. My Qualcomm Snapdragon, with its shitty 6-year-old surveillance camera lens, is seeing 18 pixels moving against the background by the time it's in danger of hitting something. Let's check our image calculator again - we'll spot it half the pixels. How far away until we can distinguish 9 pixels? Turns out it's linear - 100m. Assuming my Snapdragon sucks so hard it needs ten fuckin' pixels to see anomalies, It's got 1.67 seconds to process motion. At 2GHz, that's 3.4 billion clock cycles.
How many cycles does it take to process data? More than one, less than 3.4 billion. Guaranteed.
And you know what? uber ain't rollin' 720p. Their chips. Are Fast. They've got a 4-camera array, LIDAR and RADAR. The car was going 38, not 70. And you know what? I've been hit at 30. There's time to do shit.
Especially when you're a teraflop robot with 3 different kinds of senses.
Tesla killed a guy whose car didn't see a truck. That wasn't the truck's fault and legally it wasn't Tesla's fault because they basically put software on their cars and then told everybody not to use it most of the time. Uber?
If they can't avoid hitting spurious bicyclists at 38mph they shouldn't be allowed to play.