Video shows Uber’s self-driving cars running red lights

Just hours after Uber began operating self-driving cars in San Francisco, at least two incidents of the vehicles running red lights have lead to the suspension of the drivers in the cars and renewed pressure from the DMV.

You can see one of those incidents… Uber quickly put out a statement saying the lapses in road safety were due to human error and had suspended the two drivers in the vehicles at the time…

One self-driving car caught another one running 2 red lights in a row. It appears that the car did not stop until it reached stopped traffic. To me the light appeared to be yellow for four seconds before turning red. That is pretty short notice for drivers on a major street like Third Street to stop. The first light appears to be a pedestrian walk-way and not an intersection. That, along with the short yellow light timing, may have confused the car. Correct me if I am wrong. That is what I am observing.

“These incidents were due to human error. This is why we believe so much in making the roads safer by building self-driving Ubers,” the statement said. “The drivers involved have been suspended while we continue to investigate.”

That’s right. Blame the humans no the machines you are testing. How do they know who is to blame? California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) doesn’t care. Hours after launching the program, they suspends driverless tests claiming Uber lacks a testing permit. Would this be under the watchful eye of the Caltrans CTCDC Commissioners? One could certainly find out and file a complaint.

In a separate instance, former San Francisco Business Times tech reporter Annie Gaus tweeted photos of an Uber running through an intersection at a red light, nearly colliding with a Lyft she was riding in.

“The Uber car sort of jutted out into the intersection,” Gaus told the Guardian.“It was close enough that we were both kind of like, ‘Whoa.’ It’s close enough that you kind of react and are sort of rattled.”… (more)

Red light camera debate expands to 4th Bay Area city

: abclocal – excerpt

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) — The debate over the effectiveness of red light cameras on safety is now heading to a fourth Bay Area city.

San Rafael is canceling its contract for red light cameras, saying they didn’t have much of an effect on reducing accidents. Hayward and Belmont are also canceling their red light cameras. And Wednesday night, South San Francisco may do the same.

If there is one place in South San Francisco where people do not want their pictures taken, it’s at an intersection with red light cameras … (more)