Passengers in Uber's self-driving cars waived right to sue for injury or death
Anyone requesting an Uber ride in a 12-sq mile area in the center of Pittsburgh might now be randomly allocated a self-driving Ford Fusion rather than a human-operated vehicle. But passengers riding in Uber’s computer-controlled cars today might be surprised at just how experimental the technology is. According to documents obtained by the Guardian under public records laws, until as recently as June anyone not employed by Uber riding in one of its autonomous vehicles (AVs) had to sign a legal document waiving the company of any liability for their injury or death.
One senior Pittsburgh police officer signed a waiver on 23 June: “I acknowledge that some or all of the AVs in which I ride are in a development phase, are experimental in nature, and that riding in an AV may involve the potential for death, serious injury, and/or property loss.” The document was required by Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center (ATC), a research hub that in early 2015 hired dozens of robotics experts from nearby Carnegie Mellon University. Since then the ATC has been working furiously to catch up with the likes of Google and Tesla in self-driving technology – a task Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has described as “basically existential for us”.
Over the summer, ATC ran a “Friends & Family” program that allowed contacts and family members to ride in the same self-driving cars that are now being used in the public trial. The legal document obtained by the Guardian details what might have gone wrong on any ride. “Risks associated with riding in an AV may include, without limitation, those caused by equipment failure, development vehicle operators or other safety drivers, actions of other motorists, weather, temperature, road conditions, negligence or human error,” it says. “Nobody has set up software that can reliably drive a car safely without a human,” Kalanick told Bloomberg Businessweek in August. “We are focusing on that.” In the current self-driving Ubers, a human is always in the driver’s seat to cope with technical failures and unexpected situations – such a family of geese crossing the road.
At the moment, self-driving Ubers can be hailed between 7am and 10pm, and only in a downtown area that has previously been meticulously mapped to within centimeters. Uber would not confirm whether the pilot program would operate in challenging weather conditions like heavy rain, fog, snow or ice. All rides are currently free during the trial. While transporting passengers does not materially affect the way autonomous vehicles navigate or drive, it does allow Uber to see how riders react to being driven by a machine. Uber admits it is filming passengers, inside and outside the car, to inform how it develops the technology. Picking up and dropping off customers may be trickier without a human driver to wave to, for example, or to point out a safe place to stop.
During the Friends & Family program, users were obliged to assume complete responsibility for riding in Uber’s AVs, including “any risks that may arise from the negligence or carelessness of [Uber and the ATC], operation of the AVs and/or dangerous or defective equipment”. They also had to release the company of liability from beyond the grave, with a clause that stated: “I hereby agree on behalf of myself, my executors, administrators, heirs [and] next of kin”.
Public passengers today do not have to sign any such waiver, and Uber confirmed to the Guardian that all riders in self-driving Ubers are covered by $5m of accident insurance, in line with pending legislation in Pennsylvania. “It’s possible that, by not charging for rides, Uber’s pilot program avoids Pennsylvania’s rules for taxicabs,” says Bryant Walker-Smith, a professor at the University of South Carolina. “Courts generally hold that providers of transport for hire have a heightened responsibility for the safety of their passengers. However, I’d expect a court to hold Uber to a similarly high standard if its program were to result in injury.”
The blistering pace of Uber’s technology development has taken even self-driving experts by surprise. Anthony Levandowski, who built Google’s first self-driving car, went on to found an autonomous trucking start-up called Otto. In September, he joined Uber as a vice-president in charge of self-driving technology. Speaking to the Guardian shortly before he was hired, Levandowski said: “Uber’s effort seems to be very logical. But it will take a long time for the tech to penetrate and be ubiquitous everywhere. It could take 25 years.” Kalanick wants driverless self-driving Ubers much quicker than that. “We are going commercial,” he told Bloomberg Businessweek. “This can’t just be about science.”
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You can download or order our ebooks on CD. We also have unusual DVDs that you might find of interest. And our Collections of files to save you money with ebooks on John Keely, Walter Russell, Chandra Bose, Rejuvenation, Homeopathy and much, much more.
DVD - the Physics of Crystals, Pyramids and Tetrahedrons
This is a wonderful duel DVD set lasting 2 hours and which presents one man's lifelong study of pyramids, crystals and their effects. Several of his original and very creative experiments are explained and diagramed out for experimenters. These experiments include;
1) transmutation of zinc to lower elements using a tetrahedron,
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2) energy extraction from a pyramid,
3) determining mathematic ratios of nature in a simple experiment,
4) accelerating the growth of food,
5) increasing the abundance of food,
6) how crystals amplify, focus and defocus energy,
7) using crystals to assist natural healing,
8) how the universe uses spirals and vortexes to produce free energy and MORE...
KeelyNet BBS Files w/bonus PDF of 'Keely and his Discoveries'
Finally, I've gotten around to compiling all the files (almost 1,000 - about 20MB and lots of work doing it) from the original KeelyNet BBS into a form you can easily navigate and read using your browser, ideally Firefox but it does work with IE. Most of these files are extremely targeted, interesting and informative, I had forgotten just how much but now you can have the complete organized, categorized set, not just sprinklings from around the web. They will keep you reading for weeks if not longer and give you clues and insights into many subjects and new ideas for investigation and research. IN ADDITION, I am including as a bonus gift, the book (in PDF form) that started it all for me, 'Keely and his Discoveries - Aerial Navigation' which includes the analysis of Keely's discoveries by Dr. Daniel G. Brinton. This 407 page eBook alone is worth the price of the KeelyNet BBS CD but it will give you some degree of understanding about what all Keely accomplished which is just now being rediscovered, but of course, without recognizing Keely as the original discoverer. Chapters include; Vibratory Sympathetic and Polar Flows, Vibratory Physics, Latent Force in Interstitial Spaces and much more. To give some idea of how Keely's discoveries are being slowly rediscovered in modern times, check out this Keely History. These two excellent bodies of information will be sent to you on CD. If alternative science intrigues and fascinates you, this CD is what you've been looking for...
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'The Evolution of Matter' and 'The Evolution of Forces' on CD
Years ago, I had been told by several people, that the US government frequently removes books they deem dangerous or 'sensitive' from libraries. Some are replaced with sections removed or rewritten so as to 'contain' information that should not be available to the public despite the authors intent. A key example was during the Manhattan Project when the US was trying to finalize research into atomic bombs. They removed any books that dealt with the subject and two of them were by Dr. Gustave Le Bon since they dealt with both energy and matter including radioactivity. I had been looking for these two books for many years and fortunately stumbled across two copies for which I paid about $40.00 each. I couldn't put down the books once I started reading them. Such a wealth of original discoveries, many not known or remembered today. / Page 88 - Without the ether there could be neither gravity, nor light, nor electricity, nor heat, nor anything, in a word, of which we have knowledge. The universe would be silent and dead, or would reveal itself in a form which we cannot even foresee. If one could construct a glass chamber from which the ether were to be entirely eliminated, heat and light could not pass through it. It would be absolutely dark, and probably gravitation would no longer act on the bodies within it. They would then have lost their weight. / Page 96-97 - A material vortex may be formed by any fluid, liquid or gaseous, turning round an axis, and by the fact of its rotation it describes spirals. The study of these vortices has been the object of important researches by different scholars, notably by Bjerkness and Weyher. They have shown that by them can be produced all the attractions and repulsions recognized in electricity, the deviations of the magnetic needle by currents, etc. These vortices are produced by the rapid rotation of a central rod furnished with pallets, or, more simply, of a sphere. Round this sphere gaseous currents are established, dissymetrical with regard to its equatorial plane, and the result is the attraction or repulsion of bodies brought near to it, according to the position given to them. It is even possible, as Weyher has proved, to compel these bodies to turn round the sphere as do the satellites of a planet without touching it. / Page 149 - "The problem of sending a pencil of parallel Hertzian waves to a distance possesses more than a theoretical interest. It is allowable to say that its solution would change the course of our civilization by rendering war impossible. The first physicist who realizes this discovery will be able to avail himself of the presence of an enemy's ironclads gathered together in a harbour to blow them up in a few minutes, from a distance of several kilometres, simply by directing on them a sheaf of electric radiations. On reaching the metal wires with which these vessels are nowadays honeycombed, this will excite an atmosphere of sparks which will at once explode the shells and torpedoes stored in their holds. With the same reflector, giving a pencil of parallel radiations, it would not be much more difficult to cause the explosion of the stores of powder and shells contained in a fortress, or in the artillery sparks of an army corps, and finally the metal cartridges of the soldiers. Science, which at first rendered wars so deadly, would then at length have rendered them impossible, and the relations between nations would have to be established on new bases."
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High Voltage & Free Energy Devices Handbook
This wonderfully informative ebook provides many simple experiments you can do, including hydrogen generation and electrostatic repulsion as well as the keys to EV Gray's Fuelless Engine. One of the most comprehensive compilations of information yet detailing the effects of high voltage repulsion as a driving force. Ed Gray's engine produced in excess of 300HP and he claimed to be able to 'split the positive' energy of electricity to produce a self-running motor/generator for use as an engine. Schematics and tons of photos of the original machines and more! Excellent gift for your technical friends or for that budding scientist! If you are an experimenter or know someone who investigates such matters, this would make an excellent addition to your library or as an unforgettable gift. The downloadable HVFE eBook pdf file is almost 11MB in size and contains many experiments, photos, diagrams and technical details. Buy a copy and learn all about hydrogen generation, its uses and how to produce electrostatic repulsion. - 121 pages
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Hypnosis CD - 3 eBooks with How To Techniques and Many Cases
If you have a few minutes, you might want to read my page on hypnosis and all the amazing things associated with its application. Included is an experience I had when I hypnotized a neighbor kid when I was about 14. As well the hypnotic gaze of snakes, the discovery of 'eyebeams' which can be detected electronically, the Italian Hypnotist Robber who was caught on tape with his eyes glowing as cashiers handed over their money and remembered nothing, glamour and clouding the mind of others, several methods of trance induction and many odd cases, animal catatonia, healing, psychic phenomena, party/stage stunts, including my favorite of negative hallucination where you make your subject NOT see something...much more...if nothing else, its might be a hoot to read.
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14 Ways to Save Money on Fuel Costs
This eBook is the result of years of research into various methods to increase mileage, reduce pollution and most importantly, reduce overall fuel costs. It starts out with the simplest methods and offers progressively more detailed technologies that have been shown to reduce fuel costs. As a bonus to readers, I have salted the pages with free interesting BONUS items that correlate to the relevant page. Just filling up with one tank of gas using this or other methods explained here will pay for this eBook. Of course, many more methods are out there but I provided only the ones which I think are practical and can be studied by the average person who is looking for a way to immediately reduce their fuel costs. I am currently using two of the easier methods in my own vehicle which normally gets 18-22 mpg and now gets between 28 and 32 mpg depending on driving conditions. A tank of gas for my 1996 Ford Ranger costs about $45.00 here so I am saving around $15-$20 PER TANK, without hurting my engine and with 'greener' emissions due to a cleaner burn! The techniques provided in this ebook begin with simple things you can do NOW to improve your mileage and lower your gas costs. - eBook Download / More Info
The Physics of the Primary State of Matter
The Physics of the Primary State of Matter - published in the 1930s, Karl Schappeller described his Prime Mover, a 10-inch steel sphere with quarter-inch copper tubing coils. These were filled with a material not named specifically, but which is said to have hardened under the influence of direct current and a magnetic field [electro-rheological fluid]. With such polarization, it might be guessed to act like a dielectric capacitor and as a diode...
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$5 Alt Science MP3s to listen while working/driving/jogging
No time to sit back and watch videos? Here are 15 interesting presentations you can download for just $5 each and listen to while driving, working, jogging, etc. An easy way to learn some fascinating new things that you will find of use. Easy, cheap and simple, better than eBooks or Videos. Roughly 50MB per MP3.
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15 New Alternative Science DVDs & 15 MP3s
An assortment of alternative science videos that provide many insights and inside information from various experimenters. Also MP3s extracted from these DVDs that you can listen to while working or driving. Reference links for these lectures and workshops by Bill Beaty of Amateur Science on the Dark Side of Amateur Science, Peter Lindemann on the World of Free Energy, Norman Wootan on the History of the EV Gray motor, Dan Davidson on Shape Power and Gravity Wave Phenomena, Lee Crock on a Method for Stimulating Energy, Doug Konzen on the Konzen Pulse Motor, George Wiseman on the Water Torch and Jerry Decker on Aether, ZPE and Dielectric Nano Arrays. Your purchase of these products helps support KeelyNet, thanks!
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