Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality
Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.
What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."
Why it matters: Virtually every major car company on the planet, in addition to numerous startups and tech companies, are doing live testing of self-driving vehicles — and pushing policy officials to allow them to do so.
But Rajkumar said that ordinary people in addition to automakers and tech companies have developed far too much trust in self-driving technology simply because the cars have driven hundreds of thousands of miles with only one fatality before this — a Tesla driver who slammed into the side of a truck last year.
Why Europeans are more skeptical of data-driven businesses
Europeans view privacy as a human rights issue, leading regulators there to be much more skeptical of data-driven businesses like social media. Americans are also beginning to worry about how data is used on some platforms like Facebook, particularly after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke this weekend.
The big picture: Europe's history and culture plays a large role in shaping its views toward privacy. Granted, this history has to do with government access to personal information, but it's since extended to businesses.
Last week at South by Southwest, Damien Levie, head of the E.U.'s trade and agriculture at its U.S. embassy, provided context on the upcoming data privacy law:
U.S. context: Julie Brill, currently deputy general counsel at Microsoft and a former FTC Commissioner, added:
Cultural attitudes impact social media use: A Pew survey last year found that internet access doesn't necessarily lead to social media use, including in European countries like Germany, where only 37% of people use social media.