The report claims that based on interviews with former employees and industry experts, it seems that Uber actually scaled back on the number of sensors deployed in its self-driving cars. The result is a car with more blind spots compared to its earlier generations as well as compared to those of their rivals.
While it’s all conjecture at this point in time, it is possible that had there been less blind spots, it is possible that Uber’s self-driving car might have been able to stop in time to prevent the accident from happening. According to Reuters, Uber’s self-driving car only employed one Lidar sensor versus other its previous-gen self-driving test vehicle, the Ford Fusion which has seven Lidar sensors on board. It also used seven cameras versus the Ford which has twenty.
It is unclear why Uber scaled back on the number of sensors, but in a statement made in response to the report, an Uber spokeswoman said, “We believe that technology has the power to make transportation safer than ever before and recognize our responsibility to contribute to safety in our communities. As we develop self-driving technology, safety is our primary concern every step of the way.”