Video: The driver of the autonomous Uber was distracted before fatal crash

The Tempe, Arizona police department have released a video showing the moments before the fatal crash that involved Uber’s self-driving car. The video includes the view of the street from the Uber and a view of minder behind the wheel of the autonomous Uber.

Warning: This video is disturbing.

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The video shows the victim crossing a dark street when an Uber self-driving Volvo XC90 strikes her at 40 mph. It also shows the person who is supposed to be babysitting the autonomous vehicle looking down moments before the crash. It’s unclear what is distracting the minder. It’s also unclear why Uber’s systems did not detect and react to the victim who was clearly moving across its range of sensors at walking speeds.

Uber provided the following statement regarding the incident to TechCrunch:

Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.

Since the crash on March 19, Uber has pulled all its vehicles from the roads operating in Pittsburgh, Tempe, San Francisco and Toronto. This is the first time an autonomous vehicle operating in self-driving mode has resulted in a human death. In a statement to TechCrunch, the NHTSA said it has sent over its “Special Crash Investigation” team to Tempe. This is “consistent with NHTSA’s vigilant oversight and authority over the safety of all motor vehicles and equipment, including automated technologies,” a spokesperson for the agency told TechCrunch.

“NHTSA is also in contact with Uber, Volvo, Federal, State and local authorities regarding the incident,” the spokesperson said. “The agency will review the information and proceed as warranted.”

Toyota also paused its self-driving testing in the US following the accident.

This tragic accident is the sort of situation self-driving vehicles are supposed to address. After all, these systems are supposed to be able to see through the dark and cannot get distracted by Twitter.

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Omega takes us to the Dark Side with their new moonwatch

Omega has just announced a new version of their iconic Moonwatch, the chronograph that was worn most notably by Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon. Their new model, the Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8, features the traditional Moonwatch design with a few unique tweaks.

The has an exhibition back – you can see the movement through a glass crystal – as well as a skeletonized face. The bridges – the pieces that hold the gears in place – are laser etched with a representation of the lunar surface and blackened for effect. It contains a manual wind mechanical movement and, while there is no pricing yet, should come in at about $9,000.

The back of the case features an interesting quote. From the release:

“WE’LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE” – the special words engraved on the caseback – were spoken by Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell on board the Apollo 8 mission at the start of the crew’s pioneering orbit to the dark side of the moon – a mysterious hemisphere never seen before by human eyes. Seconds before the spacecraft disappeared beyond the range of radio contact, Lovell spoke these final assuring words to ground control.

Why is this fancy and particularly expensive watch interesting? First, it’s a nice riff on the original Moonwatch, the first mechanical watch on the moon. Omega has been flogging the Moonwatch brand for decades and now they’re expanding to other space missions, including the Apollo 8. It’s a beautiful homage to the Golden Age of space exploration and it’s a bit more modern-looking than the original, austere black-and-white Speedmaster.

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The OverLord ProPlus is a 3D printer for making really tall objects

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Apple’s new Portrait mode ad shows empty streets in Shanghai

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You’ll be able to upgrade any Windows 10 S device to Windows 10 Pro

 Microsoft just unveiled a new operating system — Windows 10 S. This secured and streamlined operating system is perfect for the education market. But Microsoft is also going to ship Windows 10 S on its perfectly capable Surface Laptop. During the press conference, the company has compared the new $999 laptop with various MacBooks, making it even more puzzling that it opted for a… Read More

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Microsoft’s killer feature for its Chromebook competitor is Office

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Nodez is a smart home solution that brings all of its equipment on the bus

 Nodez is a company that promises to turn your entire home into a smart home with a single, all-encompassing package. Their $196 product includes a little of everything including a smoke/CO2 detector, switches, and even a flood sensor. In all you get nine smart objects for the cost of one Nest product.
The trick is that the team has reduced the cost of the network and all of the sensors… Read More

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Windows 10 S laptops will start at $189 and ship this summer

 Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS is called Windows 10 S. This new operating system is a streamlined and secured version of Windows 10. It runs sandboxed apps and doesn’t require expensive hardware. And this is where Microsoft shines as it can talk with all major PC OEMs to convince them to build Windows 10 S devices. The company announced that Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung… Read More

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