Tue, Apr 03, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Lyft co-founder: Fatal Uber crash should have been prevented
Lyft共同創辦人表示 優步的致命車禍應可避免

An Uber self-driving car drives down a street on March 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California, the US.

Photo: AFP

The co-founder of ride hailing company Lyft Inc said last Tuesday a fatal collision in which an Uber Technologies Inc self-driving vehicle struck a pedestrian could have been prevented.

“I don’t know all the specifics. I did see the video. It did look like both the tech and the driver could have or should have prevented that. But I don’t know all the details,” Lyft co-founder John Zimmer told a small group of reporters during a visit to Washington.

Elaine Herzberg was walking her bicycle outside the crosswalk on a four-lane road in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe in the evening on March 18 when she was struck by the Uber vehicle traveling at about 64km per hour, according to police. The Volvo XC90 SUV was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel.

The death of the 49-year-old woman has spurred questions about whether more oversight is needed for the nascent industry and prompted Arizona’s governor to suspend Uber testing.

Zimmer said it was important not to take shortcuts and put out new technology before it’s ready. “We need to make sure that all players are acting responsibly because, again, the goal is to actually make it a safer opportunity for people,” he said.

Currently, there are no performance standards or state or federal testing of self-driving vehicles before they are deployed on US roads.

Self-driving vehicles are designed to perform far better than human drivers and reduce the number of vehicle fatalities. Zimmer cited statistics showing that around 100 people per day are killed in vehicle-related accidents in the US.

“The goal is to take that to zero,” he said. “So I worry about — if it took autonomous [vehicles] one day more because of this, to get to market, that could be 100 people’s lives that are at risk.”


1. fatal collision phr.


(zhi4 ming4 zhuang4 ji2)

2. self-driving vehicle; autonomous vehicle phr.


(zi4 dong4 jia4 shi3 che1)

3. autonomous mode phr.


(zi4 dong4 jia4 shi3 mo2 shi4)

4. oversight n.


(jian1 du1)

5. nascent adj.


(wei4 cheng2 shou2 de5)

6. take a shortcut phr.


(chao1 jie2 jing4)

7. performance standard phr.


(xing4 neng2 biao1 zhun3)

Lyft has been vying for a bigger share of the US ride-hailing market now dominated by Uber, which has been rocked by executive departures after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and other employee concerns.

Lyft has sought to brand itself as a more socially conscious company.















Reading Comprehension

New cars are quickly getting self-driving features

Autonomous vehicles get all the headlines, but automakers are gradually adding advanced electronic safety features to human-driven cars as they step toward a world of self-driving vehicles.

Car and tech companies are rolling out laser sensors, artificial intelligence, larger viewing screens that show more of the road, cameras that can read speed limit signs, and systems that slow cars ahead of curves and construction zones.

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