The CEO of Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, has said that its own autonomous cars would have avoided last week’s fatal collision caused by an Uber-operated autonomous car failing to ‘see’ a pedestrian crossing the road.
John Krafcik told an audience at the National Automobile Dealers’ Association, hosted in Las Vegas, that Waymo’s self-driving safety systems were “robust.”
While he spoke of the impact that the fatal collision had had on him and his team, he said:
“All that we can say is based on our knowledge of what we’ve seen so far… and our own knowledge of the robustness that we’ve designed into our systems… in situations like that one — in this case a pedestrian or a pedestrian with a bicycle — we have a lot of confidence that our technology would be robust and would be able to handle situations like that one.”
Uber is still investigating what went wrong, aided by police and US federal regulators. The company that made the LIDAR sensors used in Uber’s Volvo XC90, Velodyne, stated clearly that its tech would have seen Elaine Herzberg before she was struck, and implied that Uber’s software would be to blame.