April 01, 2017

Autonomous Vehicles: The Off for Uber-Test Rides?

Autonomous Vehicles: The Off for Uber-Test Rides?

Die Google-affiliated company Waymo raises Uber in a suit using lidar technology for self-propelled cars in front, the former senior staff Anthony Levandowski stole. The procedure is currently unfavorable for the service agent: the competent judge said at a hearing that he saw "good chances" for overclaiming the Waymo application for an injunction against the program for the development of self-propelled cars. In the case of such a decision, it is unlikely that certain technologies will be used-like the laser radars, which allow the systems of the cars to recognize their surroundings.

14,000 files stolen?
At the same time, attorneys of the former Google manager Anthony Levandowski announced that he would make use of the fifth amendment to the US constitution and at the very least refuse to make a statement. The additional article states, among other things, that a criminal case does not have to testify against itself. Waymo claims that Levandowski had downloaded some 14,000 files, including business secrets, prior to his departure from the Internet company. A supervisor said at the hearing that the company would prefer that Levandowski say but could not move him. For many years, the manager has been a major developer of the laser radars of Google cars. After his retirement at the Internet company in early 2016, he founded the start-up Otto specialized in self-propelled trucks. Over a few months later, it bought over $ 680 million. In the suit, the laser radars are referred to by referential similarity to Waymo's own developments.

Reacts to the allegations
Angela Padilla, the Chief Justice Officer, said the service agent was about to submit an official response to the lawsuit. "We are convinced that the accusations of Waymo are unfounded and that Anthony Levandowski has not used any Google files in his work with Otto and Uber."

Over-Accident: Police survey leaves questions open
He had stopped his journeys with self-propelled cars for four days after March 25, 2017, but for other reasons. One paused the tests, after an autonomous driving Volvo XC 90 was involved in an accident. Photos on the net can be seen on the side of the reconstructed vehicle with its robotic car sensors. The car controlled a software. According to the authorities, however, the car was not the fault of the car, but the driver of the other car who had taken the road ahead. Serious injuries did not attract any of the participants.

Unnecessary risk?
However, a freshly released police report may bring the accident scene into a different light. According to this, a witness had described that the vehicle accelerated before the traffic light, to cross the crossing still yellow. Shortly afterwards the accident happened. The inmates of the Volvo explained that the vehicle had not driven at any time faster than the permitted 40 mph (approx. 64 km / h). This also confirmed the police and finally gave the green light for further test drives of the super-cars. However, experts are currently discussing whether the sudden acceleration of the technology itself has taken an unnecessary risk, which man might have omitted - because he would have assessed the situation differently based on experience. Or have the sensors simply ignored the yellow signal? In hindsight these questions can not be clarified clearly. So there is uncertainty ...

Overcoats from Denmark
In Uber, too, Uber has problems: the company is shrinking in the face of a planned tightening of the laws from the Danish market. The operation is scheduled to start on April 18, 2017, the service agent now reports. Uber has 2,000 drivers and 300,000 users in Denmark. It is one of the few countries in Europe where the UberPop service is available, where private people transport passengers with their own cars. This has led to an annoyance with the authorities - just as in other countries where the service has now ceased.

Allegation: aid to illegal taxi drivers
Thus the Danish police only announced in early March 2017 to take hundreds of over-drivers because of illegal taxi drivers. In July 2016 six drivers in Copenhagen were sentenced to fines of between 2,000 and 6,000 crowns (270 and 800 euros). In December 2016, the prosecutor's office had also charged charges against illegal taxis.

Development center
The new law now provides that all wagons carrying passengers must have seat sensors, cameras and taximeters. On the other hand, they said that they had no choice but to deny the operation in Denmark. An app development center in the country wants to leave the company but. Moreover, Uber wanted to continue to try to persuade the policy to modify the planned changes.

About-Chief Travis Kalanick in the criticism
In addition to the hype surrounding the crash, the service agent Uber has another construction site: he wants to repair his image as quickly as possible. Travis Kalanick, the founder and head of the company, The board has confidence in Kalanick, according to board member Arianna Huffington in a telephone conference; Kalanick himself did not participate. The charismatic company boss had last seen a negative impact, when he could see in a video how he was struggling with a superior driver. Kalanick promised to be more active. Since then one is looking for an experienced number 2 for the Uber-Chefetage, which takes care of the daily business.

Corporate culture is to be characterized by women's discrimination
It has recently become the focus of several controversies. A former software developer described a company culture, which is characterized by women's discrimination in a much noticed blog entry. Their explosive allegations led to a large-scale investigation by, among others, the former General Prosecutor, Eric Holder, who is now active as an attorney. The investigation is expected to be completed by the end of April 2017 - the results will be published soon, said Huffington.

Investors worry
Investors, who in part came to an overall assessment of well over 60 billion US dollars (55 billion), are worried about the turmoil as well as the ongoing losses in global expansion. This also exacerbates the pressure on Uber in general and Kalanick in particular. Huffington stressed that a corporate culture that tolerated "brilliant jerks" ("brilliant jerks") should no longer exist. (With DPA material.)

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