Uber Is Said To Have Disabled Volvo’s Collision Avoidance System In Last Week’s Fatal Accident

Tech company Aptiv says that the technology supplied to Volvo wasn’t at fault during last week’s incident, when an Uber-operated XC90 struck and killed 49-year old Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona.

Aptiv says that Uber disabled the XC90’s standard collision avoidance technology, which is after all standard practice, as the ride-hailing company is looking to test its own autonomous driving systems.

“We don’t want people to be confused or think it was a failure of the technology that we supply for Volvo, because that’s not the case,” stated Aptiv spokesman Zach Peterson, adding that the XC90’s standard advanced driver assistance system “has nothing to do” with Uber’s own autonomous tech, as reported by Autonews.

Meanwhile, Mobileye, which builds chips and sensors for collision-avoidance systems and also acts as a supplier for Aptiv, said that it had tested its own software following the crash by playing a video of the incident on a TV monitor.

Apparently, Mobileye was able to detect Herzberg one second before impact during these tests, despite the poor quality of the video – as opposed to a direct connection to the car’s cameras and sensors.

“The video released by the police seems to demonstrate that even the most basic building block of an autonomous vehicle system, the ability to detect and classify objects, is a challenging task,” stated Mobileye CEO, Amnon Shashua. “It is this same technology that is required, before tackling even tougher challenges, as a fundamental element of fully autonomous vehicles of the future.”

The Volvo XC90’s standard driver-assistance system relies on Aptiv’s radar and camera systems, which in turn use Mobileye’s chips and sensors.

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  • vvmdrf

    Volvo advertises their system working at night. This could have been avoided: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8eS7FmjnOI

  • Stephen G

    i’m sure Tempe recommends crossing at well lit designated cross walks. This could have been avoided.

    • Jay

      Some state cross walks aren’t well lit I have a few in my area that aren’t lit at all and almost hit someone walking in it because of that. Good drivers look out for things like that whether there is a crosswalk or not.


    Just going to see how the court case goes. I’m sure this will get brought up.


    • brn

      Not guilty.

  • Marty

    So the sensors in Uber’s autonomous car are worse than the ones in Volvo’s manual car?
    Sub-optimal, to say the least.

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