May 24, 2018

Self-driving Uber saw pedestrian before fatal strike, but didn't brake

Pedestrian seen crossing the road before fatal strike. Screenshot frorm video released by the Tempe Police Department.

Federal investigators said Thursday that the self-driving Uber SUV that struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona in March saw the woman six seconds before colliding with her, but the car failed to stop because the emergency brake was disabled, reports the AP.

What they're saying: The National Transportation Safety Board stated that Uber engineers had intentionally disabled the Volvo's emergency braking system while the car was operating autonomously, because it lessens the "potential for erratic vehicle behavior." Instead, Uber relies on the human backup driver to take over, but "the system is not designed to alert the operator," NTSB added. The system noticed the woman 6 seconds before the car struck her and would have needed only 1.3 seconds to stop in time, the report says (The timing in this sentence has been corrected from earlier versions.)

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India gives Trump warm welcome as brutal protests rip New Delhi apart

People supporting India's new citizenship law beat a Muslim man in New Delhi, India. Photo: Danish Siddiqui/TPX/Reuters

While President Trump enjoys a hero's welcome in India, that nation's capital is being torn apart by violent protests between Hindus and Muslims.

The state of play: At least 186 people — 56 police officers and 130 protesters — have been injured and 10 killed in recent clashes, a New Delhi police spokesperson told the AP.

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Scoop: Israel cancels academic's lectures for criticizing Netanyahu's Iran policy

Prime Minister Netanyahu. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has ordered its embassies in Russia, Canada and Bulgaria to cancel planned speaking events by an Israeli academic and prominent Iran expert, claiming he criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy on the Iranian nuclear program, officials told me.

Why it matters: For many years, the Israeli Foreign Ministry would send Israeli academics who disagree with the government on speaking tours around the world in order to convey the strength of Israeli democracy. Israeli diplomats view the move against the academic as a sign of retaliation and growing fear of dissent on politically charged issues.

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