Talk:Death of Elaine Herzberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Biography (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 
WikiProject Automobiles (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Automobiles, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of automobiles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Death (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Death, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Death on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Women (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Women, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of women on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 

Research on accident facts as person without car[edit]

She was a bicyclist pushing her bike to cross a problem intersection. Two years earlier it was in the news for a video of a road rage between driver and cyclists with right of way.

https://www.abc15.com/news/region-southeast-valley/tempe/video-captures-confrontation-between-angry-driver-cyclists-in-tempe

She was homeless, but quite competent.

https://www.streetinsider.com/dr/news.php?id=13967142 Mulp (talk) 09:36, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

Requested move 6 April 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved: Joining consensus, only concern was the unity amoung other articles, surely not a WP:COI as bar mine (now changed), all responses are in support — IVORK Discuss 22:30, 12 April 2018 (UTC)


(non-admin closure)

Elaine HerzbergDeath of Elaine Herzberg – Article is about the death and followup, not a full biography. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 22:45, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Support due to the article having considerably more notability as a person -- Pi (Talk to me!) 02:25, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
Support as this is not a BLP of a famous person. Rodney Baggins (talk) 08:21, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
Oppose to be in unison with all the other deaths of its kind in the See more section. I know I was the original XfD nominator, but a considerable amount of coverage has been done for this event. — IVORK Discuss 16:18, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
In response to previous Oppose comment: the Robert Williams article is called "Robert Williams (robot fatality)" so maybe the Elaine Herzberg article could be called "Elaine Herzberg (autonomous vehicle fatality)". Following the same logic, the other See also articles would need to be renamed thus: Mary Ward (scientist) > "Mary Ward (automobile fatality)"; Bridget Driscoll > "Bridget Driscoll (automobile fatality)"; Henry H. Bliss > "Henry H. Bliss (automobile fatality)". Rodney Baggins (talk) 17:03, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
@Rodney Baggins: the only reason the Robert Williams article you mentioned is called "Robert Williams (robot fatality)" is because there are articles on Wikipedia about several other people called Robert Williams and therefore they each need to be disambiguated somehow. Similarly for Mary Ward (scientist), there are other Mary Wards. With the Elaine Herzberg article being discussed here, there are no other articles about similarly named people, so no disambiguation is required. -- DeFacto (talk). 17:56, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
Although there are some similar articles that use the person's name as the title, there are a lot of articles of people whose death was notable where the format Death of X or similar are used such as Murder of Stephen Lawrence, Killing of David Wilkie, Death of Baby P, Death of Dean Shillingsworth. I don't therefore think that keeping the article the way it is is necessary for maintenance of precedent. I think the article title should be determined primarily by what the article is about, and in this case the article is mainly about her death Pi (Talk to me!) 23:11, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
I would think a "keep" !vote with the rationale "a considerable amount of coverage has been done for this event" would indicate meaning the crash or death which is not indicative of a single incident or timeline to be recorded as a biography. Otr500 (talk) 14:04, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
Will accept a change, only concern was the unity of articles even though it would be better off under the new name. Now the only question is if we change the others — IVORK Discuss 22:30, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Support: As the lessor of evils. A title that uses a subjects name is a biography (life story) which is the recording of a notable life and death (if not a BLP) on Wikipedia. The references in the article and the many found in searching indicate that the circumstances of an Uber self-driving/autonomous car hitting a pedestrian (the subject) makes this tragic event more about the circumstances and fallout of the "crash" than just an incident recorded as a pseudo-biography of anyone. Henry H. Bliss was the first person killed by a traffic collision in the Western Hemisphere., not the "first person killed by an automobile", although this subject has a plaque with his name on it unlike Edwin Sewell who does not, the article is not a biography. Mary Ward (scientist) was the first person killed by an automobile by 30 years over Bliss but was notable for more than her death by an automobile and the article is biographical in nature. The Bridget Driscoll article is not a "biography" but was the first "pedestrian to be killed in a collision with a motor car in the UK". Trying to relegate these events to biographies even by silence, as other stuff (other like articles) is not a good reason yet editors keep arguing this, does not mean it is beneficial nor does it follow WP:policies and guidelines. Besides, consensus by silence (allowed by not being contested) ends when the silence ends. With this mentality every "first" incident, such as the first pedestrian or person killed by collision in any "particular" state or area (South America, Africa, or whereever) would give precedent to creating a new "want to be biography". The suggestions by user: Rodney Baggins has merit but I am not going to muddy the waters, because it will be argued that this is not the place for discussing the changing of other titles. In the interest of what is not a biography I give support to the lessor evil of Death of Elaine Herzberg. Otr500 (talk) 13:51, 8 April 2018 (UTC)
  • support move. article is not about her. Jytdog (talk) 00:30, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I went through her article and it's all about the accident, with almost nothing about the person as an individual. As far as I can tell, she hasn't received significant coverage about anything else. Lonehexagon (talk) 00:35, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support or move to Incidents involving autonomous vehicles and include other incidents. Natureium (talk) 00:38, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Article is about the death. Pawnkingthree (talk) 01:12, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Sideways Article is about an accident and title should reflect that. The person isn't notable without that. Perhaps title like 'Uber autonomous pedestrian death of 2018'. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 01:24, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • 'Support. I think it is pretty clear if we remove the "death stuff" the remaining biography cannot stand on its own right and will ultimately be deleted. Let's use the title that actually describes the content of the article. –Ammarpad (talk) 04:28, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support As has been noted in the AfD discussion, she's not notable in her own right, did not appear in reliable sources prior to the death and in such cases this practice is applied (Death of Foo). Brandmeistertalk 07:04, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Would people agree that if (when) this article title is changed, then following the same logic the Henry H. Bliss and Bridget Driscoll articles should also be renamed? (As those two people are also not notable in their own right.) Rodney Baggins (talk) 07:21, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Personally I'd support their renaming. Brandmeistertalk 07:27, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support — The move seems consistent with the subject's general notability, as well as the naming approach taken for other (but not all) similar articles. The lack of consistency in article naming does, however, suggest that some sort of formal guidance would be helpful to avoid this sort of issue being a time-sink in the future. --PLUMBAGO 09:18, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
Support this is the reason why she is known. However, it's true that the article would not be on par with a lot of the other articles on similar subjects. Hervegirod (talk) 21:55, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support notability is from event so per guideline, and otherstuff doesn't matter. Widefox; talk 12:39, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support for the same reasons most have given: it's the incident which is notable. Adpete (talk) 23:05, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
→ I hope I've not been premature, but seeing as this discussion is moving towards a conclusion of Support I have changed the names of the Henry H. Bliss and Bridget Driscoll articles accordingly. There was no opposition and it didn't go through to a page name request, it just went ahead and changed the page names immediately, to my surprise and delight. I hope there are no objections. Rodney Baggins (talk) 07:11, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Support and note that as of my vote there are 14 supports, 1 oppose, and 1 sideways. IVORK, do you want to join the consensus? Anyone want to be bold already? --Eliyahu S Talk 07:37, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Article name change[edit]

Congratulations on getting the article name changed. Now the only slight issue is that the title is not displayed in boldface at the beginning of the lead section, so the first sentence will need to be rewritten. Something like:

The death of Elaine Herzberg (August 2, 1968 – March 18, 2018) was the first known case of a pedestrian being killed by an autonomous vehicle, following a collision that occurred at about 10 p.m. MST (UTC-7) on March 18, 2018.

Also note that I have already changed the names of the Henry H. Bliss and Bridget Driscoll articles (using Twinkle) because it didn't need a formal Request for Move discussion to take place, it just went ahead and changed the names without question. Not sure why. This can always be undone easily enough if anyone objects. The lead sections of these articles will need to be altered as well. Rodney Baggins (talk) 06:59, 13 April 2018 (UTC)

Rename article to incident[edit]

What do you think of renaming the article to something like:

Uber autonomous pedestrian death of 2018

? The person isn't notable but the incident is. The title should reflect this. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 15:50, 30 May 2018 (UTC)

  • The incident was certainly notable for her. She was the (only) one who died, so the title should reflect this. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:54, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not about her. There are many articles being written about the incident. Here is an example: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/05/emergency-brakes-were-disabled-by-ubers-self-driving-software-ntsb-says/ . None of the recent articles mention the pedestrian in the title. This tells us why the incident is notable and deserves a wikipedia article. It also tells us why the article is not notable. It is not notable because of the person who was killed. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 16:06, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
I think this is just a convention at Wikipedia, regardless of newspaper headline usage, e.g. Murder of Daniel Pelka, and very many more. Your suggestion for an alternative title looks rather awkward. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:10, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Not following the convention if there is such a convention would have the following advantages:
1. Would make the article title more relevant to people trying to find information on the topic.
2. Would make the article come up higher in relevant search queries.
The suggestion is just a suggestion. Other suggestions to make the title more relevant are welcomed. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 16:16, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Well, WP:COMMONNAME opens with this (emphasis added): "In Wikipedia, an article title is a natural language word or expression that indicates the subject of the article: as such the article title is usually the name of the person, or of the place, or of whatever else the topic of the article is." Martinevans123 (talk) 16:21, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Good point. Since the topic of the article is a death due to a driverless car, that should be what the title is about. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 16:24, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Data point: Performing a google search on "death of elain herzberg" has 100K results. Search for "uber driverless death" has 500K search results. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 16:28, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia naming policy is not driven by Google Search, if you'll exclusive the pun. I think that the vehicle and the person were equally essential to this incident. And I think most people would see the name of the person as having more significance than the name of the vehicle. But happy to hear other views. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:32, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Per WP:TITLE quote:
Generally, article titles are based on what the subject is called in reliable sources.
In the list of sources in the article, 90% are about uber/driverless and 5% are about the victim. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 17:56, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Maybe it should be called "First death by an autonomous vehicle"? Alexei Kopylov (talk) 00:32, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
Well, we don't have "First death by an automobile", we have Death of Bridget Driscoll? Martinevans123 (talk) 08:31, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
@Daniel.Cardenas: if you feel strongly about this, the thing to do is come up with a new name that you feel best fits the article and put in a formal request using WP:MOVE. Then more people will get chance to air their views and a consensus can be reached. Rodney Baggins (talk) 21:52, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
Feel free to suggest a name, if the idea resonates with you. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 22:59, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
Well it would be something like "First autonomous vehicle fatality" but TBH I'm personally quite happy with "Death of Elaine Herzberg" so I wouldn't be voting for a change, sorry. I just think you ought to move this on if you feel that strongly about it. Note that a few weeks ago the name was changed from "Elaine Herzberg" to "Death of Elaine Herzberg" because it was felt that EH was not notable in her own right, just for being the first person to be unlucky enough to meet with this particular fate. No-one mentioned anything at the time about not mentioning her name at all in the title. Rodney Baggins (talk) 05:32, 2 June 2018 (UTC)
  • The article's title is fine as it is. Using something that involves the company's name places undue weight on the company. Calling a death an "XYZ company death" implies responsibility or, at the least, involvement of XYZ in the death. The fact that a death occured inside an XYZ store or an ABC cab or a QRS office should not lead to a title with the company's name. That would fail criterion #3 of WP:CRITERIA about precision. Per WP:COMMONNAME, when there are multiple names for a subject, all of them fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others.. -The Gnome (talk) 07:34, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
The Gnome, from the format of your post here, I'm wondering if you perhaps had intended it for the RfC below? Snow let's rap 10:59, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Greetings, Snow Rise. Thank you for the heads up. There was no mistake. This is a discussion and my message above was intended for it. Take care. -The Gnome (talk) 12:26, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
  • However, I must say that this discussion is now entirely redundant since an RfC with exactly the same proposal has been tabled, as you indicated. I'll post there as well and I'd suggest this discussion is procedurally closed in order to avoid potentially conflicting outcomes. -The Gnome (talk) 14:46, 6 January 2019 (UTC)

Obituary[edit]

I've found EH's obituary and have added some more facts about her in the infobox using the obituary as source. Note that she was born in Phoenix, not Mesa. I do hope no-one's going to tell me an obituary can't be used as a reliable primary source... It seems to me that even though EH is only notable for being the first person killed by a self-driving car, it's only right that we provide information about her for the reader's information/interest.

I've noticed that, after the lead, the article launches rather abruptly straight into the investigation section, and is lacking some sort of intro/summary/background. I would propose that we add a "Profile of the victim" section, along the lines of:

Elaine Herzberg was born Elaine Marie Wood in Phoenix, Arizona on August 2, 1968, to parents Danny Wood and Sharon Daly. She was raised in Apache Junction, Arizona, and graduated from Apache Junction High School in 1985. She was widowed by her first husband Mike Herzberg; her second husband was Rolf Erich Ziemann. She had two children, son Cody and daughter Christine, and three grandchildren called Charlie, Adrian, and Madelyn.

I know this information is already carried in the infobox, so maybe doesn't need repeating, but I'm wondering if it might be better presenting it in the body of the article and keep the infobox down to a minimum.

Using the same source, we're also in a position to tell the reader that Herzberg's funeral service and burial took place on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Resthaven/Carr-Tenney Memorial Gardens in Phoenix. Rodney Baggins (talk) 09:22, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

Hi Rodney. I think the infobox is usually expected only to summarize information that can be found elsewhere in the article. Sources can appear just in the text. As to whether an obituary can be used as a reliable primary source, that depends where it's published. Funerals and burial don't always get mentioned, although "resting place" more often does. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:30, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Martin. I'm quite keen on the idea of adding "Profile of victim" and "Summary of accident" sections at top (see below). A lot of the detail could then be taken out of the infobox because it does look a bit "heavy" considering that she wasn't notable on her own merit. Rodney Baggins (talk) 09:55, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Note: relatives are not usually named, and are not included in the infobox, unless they are notable in their own right. Given that Herzberg herself was unknown before her death, these would seem to be even less of a case for including them in any way. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:15, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Personally, I have my doubts about the need for the spouses. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:22, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

Summary of accident[edit]

I think some of the background information contained in the Cause investigation section, including some of the Environment subsection, could be pulled out into a separate section, as the article is lacking a solid "this is what happened" section somewhere near the top. We have concentrated too much on the investigation and not what happened in the first place.

I'm talking in particular about these details:

  • "Herzberg was crossing Mill Avenue from west to east, approximately 400 feet (120 m) south of the intersection with Curry Road, outside the crosswalk"
  • "The Uber autonomous car and driver were travelling north on Mill"
  • "the backup human driver did not intervene before the collision"
  • "The vehicle was operating in autonomous mode when it struck Herzberg"
  • "she had already crossed two lanes of traffic before she was struck by the autonomous vehicle"

Would anyone mind if I created a new section called "Accident" or "Incident" or "Summary" explaining what happened and using these basic facts? It would come directly after the "Profile of the victim" section mentioned in Talk section above. Obviously some of it would be mentioned again in the Investigation section, but it would be approached there from a slightly different angle using subsequent analysis. For example, this bit would remain under Environment: "The Marquee Theatre and Tempe Town Lake are west of Mill Avenue, and pedestrians commonly cross mid-street without detouring north to the crosswalk at Curry.[14] According to reporting by the Phoenix New Times, Mill Avenue contains what appears to be a brick-lined path in the median between the northbound and southbound lanes.[14] However, posted signs prohibit pedestrians from using it, as it is strictly ornamental.[19]" Rodney Baggins (talk) 09:52, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

No objections. Looks like a good idea. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:13, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
@Mliu92: Thanks for doing that. I would have got round to it eventually but have had a busy week. I'll take a closer look at the weekend. Thanks again! Rodney Baggins (talk) 22:10, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
@Rodney Baggins: Thank you for the suggestion; I didn't want to step on any toes, but you had already outlined the pieces to cut, so it was just a matter of massaging some text. Cheers, Mliu92 (talk) 22:15, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

Rafaela Vasquez[edit]

I've been looking at a Daily Mail article, which I'm pretty sure cannot be used as a reliable primary source – please correct me if I'm wrong! If anyone wants to have a look, it's: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5578793/Family-woman-killed-Ubers-driverless-car-say-afford-bury-her.html
This contains some "dubious personal information" about EH which is probably not worth mentioning (as I can't find it mentioned anywhere other than in the tabloid press):

  • At the time of her death, she was homeless, and was living in a homeless shelter where her daughter and ex-husband were also living.
  • She had a history of drug problems.
  • When the accident happened, she was crossing North Mill Avenue to reach the homeless shelter.
  • Elaine was estranged from her daughter Christine who was dating Elaine's "ex-husband" Rolf Erich Ziemann

More importantly, the article also states that the Uber car was piloted by convicted felon Rafaela Vasquez, 44. Is there any particular reason why Ms. Vasquez hasn't been mentioned in our article? I can't see any reason why anyone would actually make this bit up! If anyone can find a respectable source for this, we should at lease add her name in somewhere. Rodney Baggins (talk) 10:00, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

You'd have to find a better source, as the Daily Mail is banned as per WP:DAILYMAIL. Does her criminal record have anything to do with this incident? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:15, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
No, of course not. I was purely referring to her name/age. The words "convicted felon" just happened to come along for the ride, as I was quoting directly from the gutter... Rodney Baggins (talk) 11:58, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
You'll be getting a bad name, Rodney. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:07, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Better sources for Vasquez (the gossipy tidbits about Herzberg's past and current situation are at best tangentially relevant), but consider the following quotation as well (from the Forbes article): "Embedded in each headline crowing over Vasquez’s criminal past is the classist implication that every company should not consider hiring any one of the approximately 19 million people in the U.S. with a felony conviction (according to a 2010 University of Georgia study), in direct opposition for every happy news headline celebrating companies who give former criminals a “second chance.”". As noted above, I would stick to name and age only as the nearly twenty-year-old conviction (she served her time and was released thirteen years ago) has nothing to do with the fatal crash. Cheers, Mliu92 (talk) 14:35, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Popkin, Helen A. S. (23 March 2018). "Operator In Uber Self-Driving Crash Is A Felon. That's Not Why Elaine Herzberg Is Dead". Forbes. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  • Higgins, Tim; Bensinger, Greg; Lazo, Alejandro (22 March 2018). "Uber Operator of Self-Driving Car in Fatal Crash Had Criminal Record". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 June 2018.(subscription required)
  • Pavia, Will (21 March 2018). "Driverless Uber car 'not to blame' for woman's death". The Times. London. Retrieved 15 June 2018.(subscription required)
Thanks for the sources. Note that, despite its description, The Times has a graphic that incorrectly shows Herzberg riding not pushing her shopping-laden bicycle. Some nice palm trees too, although not sure how they may have featured. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:45, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

Figures on stopping distance, unsafe speed[edit]

Yesterday I edited the article, with the comment:

I took out some recent anonymously added figures about how long it takes to stop. They were based on tables for TOTAL stopping distance, including reaction time, which doesn't apply here. Also, I don't believe that driving under the speed limit was "exceeding its assumed clear distance ahead"!

Now an anonymous editor 199.116.168.104 has reverted my edit saying, "The tables apply because a human was legally required as backup; the accident report stated that the car was driving too fast; darkness limited visibility; definition of assured clear distance rule."

What I took out said:

She was first detected 6 seconds (352 feet at 40 mph) before impact; a vehicle traveling 40 mph (64 km/h) can stop within 164 feet (50 m).[1] Notwithstanding, because the machine needed to be 1.3 seconds (76 feet) away prior to discerning that emergency braking was required, it was exceeding its assured clear distance ahead, and hence driving too fast for the conditions. A reaction distance of 76 feet itself would imply a safe speed under 25 mph.[1]

I claim that the figures are wrong because they are based on reaction time (see the article Braking distance for how these distances are calculated). The computer could have stopped the car in 77 feet starting from 40 mph, not 164 ft, from the moment it decides that the car should stop. This comes from:

A similar calculation shows that a car traveling at 25 mph can stop in 30 feet if reaction time is not included, not 76 feet. I don't understand the phrase "the machine needed to be 1.3 seconds away prior to discerning that emergency braking was required". But surely it was not exceeding its Assured Clear Distance Ahead, because it could have stopped in 77 feet, and it was 352 feet away when it detected Elaine! I left a sentence saying that the police report said the car was going too fast for the conditions, but frankly I don't see why that would be true. I can't read the reference because I get a message "Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. Bla bla bla." But as the Code of Virginia tables say, even a human could stop the car in 164 feet, so what's wrong with going 40 mph? That was 5 mph under the allowed speed.

What do others think about what I removed?

Eric Kvaalen (talk) 07:14, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Reading both the article and your question, a couple things come to mind. First, I'd find a way to read the report. That said, the vehicle was going 43 mph not 40 so the math is different. On the Uber side, there were two big factors in the crash, the driver and the machine. Your confusion seems to stem from the premise that perception-reaction time does not apply, but that is not the case for at least two reasons. First, the human factor cannot be removed because this is an experimental vehicle which must have a maximum speed that can still accommodate a human override for safety. Second, even autonomous vehicles have perception-reaction times.[2] In this case it took the vehicle at least four seconds to classify Elaine first as an unknown object, then as a vehicle, and finally as a bicycle, each of which had a different predicted path according to the autonomy logic, all before determining that emergency braking was required—of which it still could not act. Also in engineering, p-t times can be refined as variable with the complexity of the environment and not a hard constant. Some six sigma approach might be used for each environment class rather than the average. This does not mean the VA tables are not a useful baseline for the layperson trying to get a ballpark understanding of negligent speed. I personally would not exceed such a metric at night.[3][4][5][6][7][8]
It is very easy to drive a vehicle, especially a commercial one, under the speed limit and "exceed its assumed clear distance ahead"![9][10] Such misconception of the law is a prolific source of accidents. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.180.38.84 (talk)

The autonomous reaction to perceived obstacles was disabled so human reaction time WAS a factor here. The woman wasn't seen because the backup driver was watching Hulu, not because of insufficient sight lines for the speed. The area was well lit. The car was not speeding. --В²C 17:17, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

The vehicle was programed by Uber to self-drive at that speed at night, so Uber played a factor. It is also true that the driver did not comply with the engineers assumptions (and driver policy) that the driver needed to be supervising the computers safe driving. This supervision was however was in conflict to the driver's other responsibility to be monitoring the data consoles.[11] The driver then naturally took the next step and watched a video rather than system status/telemetry.[11] Hence, the engineers should have[2] factored in a total reaction time as the sum of human and computer reaction times which would have meant that the vehicle would have been driving slower such that the distracted driver could still stop the vehicle in the event of an unanticipated obstacle.[2]
The woman was seen first by the machine which needed at least 4 seconded to decide to alert the driver, and finally by the driver who then had to orient herself to what had been going on and then do something about it. A self-driving car unable to react to emergencies is still a self-driving car. A perfect self-driving car would never crash into a person.[12][13][14][15][16]

References

  1. ^ a b "VA. § 46.2-880. Tables of speed and stopping distances". Code of Virginia. State of Virginia. an average baseline for motor vehicle stopping distances...for a vehicle in good condition and...on a level, dry stretch of highway, free from loose material.
  2. ^ a b c Wakabayashi, Daisuke; Conger, Kate (December 5, 2018). "Uber's Self-Driving Cars Are Set to Return in a Downsized Test". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 7, 2018. The cars have reacted more slowly than human drivers and struggled to pass so-called track validation tests...Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive, acknowledged errors in Uber’s earlier driverless car efforts. “We did screw up,” he said in comments provided by Uber...as recently as a few weeks ago, the company’s autonomous vehicle unit, Uber Advanced Technologies Group, or A.T.G., was still experiencing track testing “failures” on different versions of its software, according internal company emails. To match the reaction time of a human driver at 25 m.p.h., the cars needed to drive “20% slower than a human,” Brandon Basso, a director at A.T.G., said in a Nov. 1 email. Even at slower speeds, the cars were passing only 82 percent of track tests, according to company documents...a test in early November ran Uber’s vehicles through more than 70 categories at 25 m.p.h., they failed in 10 of them, including being slow to recognize another car that didn’t yield.
  3. ^ Varghese, Cherian; Shankar, Umesh (May 2007). "Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities by Day and Night – A Contrast". Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. National Center for Statistics and Analysis. The passenger vehicle occupant fatality rate at nighttime is about three times higher than the daytime rate. ...The data shows a higher percentage of passenger vehicle occupants killed in speeding-related crashes at nighttime.
  4. ^ Lawyers Cooperative Publishing. New York Jurisprudence. Automobiles and Other Vehicles. Miamisburg, OH: LEXIS Publishing. p. § 720. OCLC 321177421. It is negligence as a matter of law to drive a motor vehicle at such a rate of speed that it cannot be stopped in time to avoid an obstruction discernible within the driver's length of vision ahead of him. This rule is known generally as the `assured clear distance ahead' rule * * * In application, the rule constantly changes as the motorist proceeds, and is measured at any moment by the distance between the motorist's vehicle and the limit of his vision ahead, or by the distance between the vehicle and any intermediate discernible static or forward-moving object in the street or highway ahead constituting an obstruction in his path. Such rule requires a motorist in the exercise of due care at all times to see, or to know from having seen, that the road is clear or apparently clear and safe for travel, a sufficient distance ahead to make it apparently safe to advance at the speed employed.
  5. ^ Bove v. Beckman, 236 Cal. App. 2d 555 (California Appellate Court Aug 16, 1965) (""A person driving an automobile at 65 miles an hour on a highway on a dark night with his lights on low beam affording a forward vision of only about 100 feet was driving at a negligent and excessive speed which was inconsistent with any right of way that he might otherwise have had." (CA Reports Official Headnote #[8])"). See California Official Reports: Online Opinions
  6. ^ Ruth v. Vroom, 245 Mich. 88 (Supreme Court of Michigan December 4, 1928) ("It is settled in this State that it is negligence as a matter of law to drive an automobile at night at such speed that it cannot be stopped within the distance that objects can be seen ahead of it; and, if a driver's vision is obscured by the lights of an approaching car, it is his duty to slacken speed and have his car under such control that he can stop immediately if necessary. ... The rule adopted by this court does not raise merely a rebuttable presumption of negligence. It is a rule of safety. ... It is not enough that a driver be able to begin to stop within the range of his vision, or that he use diligence to stop after discerning an object. The rule makes no allowance for delay in action.").
  7. ^ Gleason v. Lowe, 232 Mich. 300 (Supreme Court of Michigan October 1, 1925) ("...every man must operate his automobile so that he can stop it within the range of his vision, whether it be daylight or darkness. It makes no difference what may obscure his vision, whether it be a brick wall or the darkness of nightfall. ... He must ... be able to see where he is going, and if his range of vision is 50 feet, if he can see 50 feet ahead of him, he must regulate his speed so that he can stop in a distance of 50 feet; if he can see 20 feet ahead of him, he must regulate his speed so that he can stop within 20 feet, and so on.").
  8. ^ Morris v. Jenrette Transport Co., 235 N.C. 568 (Supreme Court of North Carolina May 21, 1952) ("It is not enough that the driver of plaintiff's automobile be able to begin to stop within the range of his lights, or that he exercise due diligence after seeing defendants' truck on the highway. He should have so driven that he could and would discover it, perform the manual acts necessary to stop, and bring the automobile to a complete stop within the range of his lights. When blinded by the lights of the oncoming car so that he could not see the required distance ahead, it was the duty of the driver within such distance from the point of blinding to bring his automobile to such control that he could stop immediately, and if he could not then see, he should have stopped. In failing to so drive he was guilty of negligence which patently caused or contributed to the collision with defendants' truck, resulting in injury to plaintiff."...it was his duty to anticipate presence of others, [...] and hazards of the road, such as disabled vehicle, and, in the exercise of due care, to keep his automobile under such control as to be able to stop within the range of his lights").
  9. ^ "49 CFR 392.14 - Hazardous conditions; extreme caution". US Code of Federal Regulations. Extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction. Speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist. If conditions become sufficiently dangerous, the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued and shall not be resumed until the commercial motor vehicle can be safely operated. Whenever compliance with the foregoing provisions of this rule increases hazard to passengers, the commercial motor vehicle may be operated to the nearest point at which the safety of passengers is assured.
  10. ^ "Section 2 – Driving Safely" (PDF). Commercial Driver License Manual 2005. United States Department of Transportation. July 2014. pp. 2–15, 2–19, 2–26, 13–1. [pg 2-15] 2.6.4 – Speed and Distance Ahead: You should always be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead. Fog, rain, or other conditions may require that you slowdown to be able to stop in the distance you can see. ... [pg 2-19] 2.8.3 – Drivers Who Are Hazards: Vehicles may be partly hidden by blind intersections or alleys. If you only can see the rear or front end of a vehicle but not the driver, then he or she can't see you. Be alert because he/she may back out or enter into your lane. Always be prepared to stop. ... [pg 2-26] 2.11.4 – Vehicle Factors: Headlights. At night your headlights will usually be the main source of light for you to see by and for others to see you. You can't see nearly as much with your headlights as you see in the daytime. With low beams you can see ahead about 250 feet and with high beams about 350-500 feet. You must adjust your speed to keep your stopping distance within your sight distance. This means going slowly enough to be able to stop within the range of your headlights. ... [pg 13-1] 13.1.2 – Intersections As you approach an intersection: Check traffic thoroughly in all directions. Decelerate gently. Brake smoothly and, if necessary, change gears. If necessary, come to a complete stop (no coasting) behind any stop signs, signals, sidewalks, or stop lines maintaining a safe gap behind any vehicle in front of you. Your vehicle must not roll forward or backward. When driving through an intersection: Check traffic thoroughly in all directions. Decelerate and yield to any pedestrians and traffic in the intersection. Do not change lanes while proceeding through the intersection. Keep your hands on the wheel.
  11. ^ a b Wakabayashi, Daisuke (March 23, 2018). "Uber's Self-Driving Cars Were Struggling Before Arizona Crash". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2018. A video shot from the vehicle’s dashboard camera showed the safety driver looking down, away from the road. It also appeared that the driver’s hands were not hovering above the steering wheel, which is what drivers are instructed to do so they can quickly retake control of the car. ... Uber moved from two employees in every car to one. The paired employees had been splitting duties — one ready to take over if the autonomous system failed, and another to keep an eye on what the computers were detecting. The second person was responsible for keeping track of system performance as well as labeling data on a laptop computer. Mr. Kallman, the Uber spokesman, said the second person was in the car for purely data related tasks, not safety. ... When Uber moved to a single operator, some employees expressed safety concerns to managers, according to the two people familiar with Uber’s operations.
  12. ^ "Why You Shouldn't Be Allowed to Drive". Time Magazine. 25 February 2016.
  13. ^ Jay Samit (20 January 2016). "Driving a car will be illegal by 2030". Wired Magazine.
  14. ^ Kevin Drum (January 22, 2016). "When Will It Become Illegal to Drive a Car in the United States?". Mother Jones.
  15. ^ Phil LeBeau (17 March 2016). "Musk: Someday, driving a car will be illegal". CNBC.
  16. ^ Jay L Zagorsky (17 March 2016). "Driverless Cars Will Put Half Our Cops Out of Work". Newsweek Magazine.

Requested move 18 November 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. But I have created the redirect. Andrewa (talk) 07:30, 26 November 2018 (UTC)



Death of Elaine HerzbergUber developmental self-driving car pedestrian death – Per WP:TITLE: "Generally, article titles are based on what the subject is called in reliable sources."

In the list of sources in the article, roughly 90% are about uber and or driverless and 5% are about the victim. A note about using "developmental" in the title. I think it is important to note this wasn't a driverless car. It was a driverless car being developed. Had known limitations and required a driver to oversee it. We have cars now that allow you to take hands off the steering wheel, but few would call them driverless. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 18:13, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose - overly complex, unnatural target. Open to other suggestions, but this one won't work. -- Netoholic @ 09:14, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I see your point, but I agree with Netoholic that your suggestion is overly-complicated. Maybe "First self-driving car pedestrian death" would be more fitting? Is it particularly important that it's an Uber? I don't think "developmental" needs to be conveyed in the title, it was still a self-driving car that was allowed to go out on the public highways. This article used to be just called "Elaine Herzberg" but it was changed to "Death of..." because she wasn't notable for any other reason than being the "first pedestrian killed by a self-driving car", so maybe that should be the new title!? Rodney Baggins (talk) 10:13, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - unnecessarily complex. Also don't think the word "developmental" would be a very good choice. The fact there are no other articles with "Elaine Herzberg" in the title means this one is distinctive. I'd agree the title might confer on her a degree of notability she does not fully "deserve" and that "deaths from driverless cars" may become a much larger topic. But for now this title seems perfectly appropriate. (Note: in my book "a driverless car being developed" is still "a driverless car"). Martinevans123 (talk) 10:51, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Was it really a self-driving car?[edit]

As the article notes, "emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control, to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior". In other words, the entire obstacle avoidance subsystem had been disabled by Uber because it was so bad: reacting to too many "false positives". For noticing and avoiding obstacles, they relied 100% on the human "backup" driver. How does such a car even qualify as "autonomous" or "self-driving"? I think it's misleading to declare this death to be caused by a self-driving car, though unfortunately that's how it has been covered in many reliable sources, so we're kind of stuck. --В²C 17:47, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

Worthy question...The car had emergency breaking disabled, but it is not obvious if "regular braking" was disabled — such would be required to self-drive even under the most basic conditions including following behind another car or obeying a known stop sign. It was arguably in the self-driving grey area, and where does that line get completely crossed? It was after all the reliance on self-driving technology–however inappropriate–that allowed the accident; and yes, the vehicle might no longer have been self-driving all the way through the impact. What might be somewhat more misleading, is to imply through the articles significance that she was the first person killed by a self-driving car — as that actual event does not even have a page. This article is legitimately significant for many reasons, including: the impact it had as a current event; it was technically a (national) federal incident; corporate, government, and engineering ethics issues; that the victim was an unwitting and non-consenting participant in a technological transformation (who was already burdened daily with long walks in order to avoid an entire class of machines she could not even own); social inequality; the attempted transfer of liability. Perhaps only the hindsight of the future will tell if it warrants being an article on the basis of a milestone after already bypassing the first passenger killed by a self-driving car, let alone the first driver or pedestrian killed by a vehicle under basic cruise control. Some of that will sort itself out if or when another pedestrian is killed by a self-driving car. While that class of accident may actually be vastly eliminated in the future (a technically feasible and core objective of the technology), there are many, many, ways a mishap can happen, and "the future" is a very long time of exposure. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 38.72.131.157 (talk)
The self-driving characteristics of a car are rate from Levels 0 (warnings) to 5 (no steering wheel). See Self-driving car#Classification. Tesla's Autopilot is Level 2. Waymo is basically at Level 4. When Uber disabled the emergency braking I think that brought it down to Level 2, if that. Basically, it was less autonomous than a lot of cars that have emergency autonomous braking today. In fact, Uber had also disabled the Volvo's standard emergency braking system as well as their own self-driving one. Arguably, since it wasn't even warning, it wasn't even Level 0. To call this a failure of autonomous technology is like blaming parachute technology when the jumper who died failed to put on his parachute before jumping. --В²C 17:36, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
We have entered a technology change continuum. The line will always be subject to debate. The reliance on self-driving technology facilitated the crash, and it was the technology's dependability that allowed the driver to watch a video in the first place. The robot that killed the first person did not look or behave like it was from Ex Machina. It was still a robot. The classification level is moot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.180.38.84 (talk)
Please sign your comments with four tildes (~). It was a disabled robot and I think we should be clear about that. В²C 06:27, 15 December 2018 (UTC)
I think you are asking good questions. I don't have all the answers, a time machine, or a crystal ball. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.9.232.165 (talk) 03:17, 16 December 2018 (UTC)
If the first robot ever made toppled over while powered-off and killed its maker, would that have constituted as the first person killed by a robot? This is pure philosophy! Don't tell me that if no one else saw it, that it did not happen! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 40.140.35.68 (talk) 01:46, 19 December 2018 (UTC)
Ha ha, point taken. Why don't you have a named account? Anyway, if a blender falls out of a high cabinet and bonks you in the head, do you blame the manufacturer? To an extent it is philosophical, but there is an important point I'm trying to make: I think it's misleading to blame autonomous car technology in general for this fatality. This was more the result of bad business decisions on the part of Uber... Testing on real roads with object recognition tech so bad (too many false positives) they disabled it and instead relied on a poorly trained human "backup" driver for object recognition and avoidance instead. The reality is Ms Herzberg would have been hit by any distracted human driver; the autonomous nature of the car was irrelevant to this crash, except it happened to be along for the ride, and probably played a role in encouraging the poorly trained backup human driver to attend to distractions like watching Hulu. --В²C 02:12, 19 December 2018 (UTC)
If the blender was coordless, and a design flaw caused it to turn-on upon inversion with the blades exposed; or if the manufacturer sold blenders with experimental blades that commonly flew apart when spun-up, spewing glass and metal shrapnel at the injury of users, then the manufacturer is blameworthy.[1] I solidly agree this was the result of bad business decisions on the part of Uber.[2][3] Notwithstanding, who is to blame for self-driving car crashes? At a basic underlying level, it must include the manufacturer of the whole system, whose duty it is to understand the limitations of the sub-components.[4] Also, commercial vehicle operators are generally held to a high standard of care and are subject to national regulations.[5]
Yes and No. Yes it was a self driving car because it was capable of self driving, even though its capabilities are/were severely limited. No it was not a self driving car because no one sanctioned it as such, instead it was a self driving car were its capabilities were constantly being improved by a large team. The Volvo emergency braking system was disabled, but the uber driverless braking system was not disabled. In other words the car manufacturers features that would get in the way of testing a driverless system were disabled. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 23:54, 25 December 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1881). "Lecture III—D. Liability for unintended Harm is determined by what would be Blameworthy in Average man". The Common Law. Little, Brown and Company. p. 108,122,123. The standards of the law are standards of general application. The law takes no account of the infinite varieties of temperament, intellect, and education which make the internal character of a given act so different in different men. ... [Page 122] the averment that the defendant has been guilty of negligence ... that his alleged conduct does not come up to the legal standard. ... the question whether the court or the jury ought to judge of the defendant's conduct is wholly unaffected by the accident, ... it is entirely possible to give a series of hypothetical instructions adapted to every state of facts which it is open to the jury to find. ... the court may still take their opinion as to the standard. ... [page 123] ...supposing a state of facts often repeated in practice, is it to be imagined that the court is to go on leaving the standard to the jury forever? ... if the jury is, on the whole, as fair a tribunal as it is represented to be, the lesson which can be got from that source will be learned.... the court will find ... the conduct complained of usually is or is not blameworthy, ... or it will find the jury oscillating to and fro, and will see the necessity of making up its mind for itself. There is no reason why any other such question should not be settled, as well as that of liability for stairs with smooth strips of brass upon their edges.
  2. ^ Wakabayashi, Daisuke; Conger, Kate (December 5, 2018). "Uber's Self-Driving Cars Are Set to Return in a Downsized Test". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 7, 2018. The cars have reacted more slowly than human drivers and struggled to pass so-called track validation tests...Dara Khosrowshahi, the chief executive, acknowledged errors in Uber’s earlier driverless car efforts. “We did screw up,” he said in comments provided by Uber...as recently as a few weeks ago, the company’s autonomous vehicle unit, Uber Advanced Technologies Group, or A.T.G., was still experiencing track testing “failures” on different versions of its software, according internal company emails. To match the reaction time of a human driver at 25 m.p.h., the cars needed to drive “20% slower than a human,” Brandon Basso, a director at A.T.G., said in a Nov. 1 email. Even at slower speeds, the cars were passing only 82 percent of track tests, according to company documents...a test in early November ran Uber’s vehicles through more than 70 categories at 25 m.p.h., they failed in 10 of them, including being slow to recognize another car that didn’t yield.
  3. ^ Wakabayashi, Daisuke (March 23, 2018). "Uber's Self-Driving Cars Were Struggling Before Arizona Crash". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2018. A video shot from the vehicle’s dashboard camera showed the safety driver looking down, away from the road. It also appeared that the driver’s hands were not hovering above the steering wheel, which is what drivers are instructed to do so they can quickly retake control of the car. ... Uber moved from two employees in every car to one. The paired employees had been splitting duties — one ready to take over if the autonomous system failed, and another to keep an eye on what the computers were detecting. The second person was responsible for keeping track of system performance as well as labeling data on a laptop computer. Mr. Kallman, the Uber spokesman, said the second person was in the car for purely data related tasks, not safety. ... When Uber moved to a single operator, some employees expressed safety concerns to managers, according to the two people familiar with Uber’s operations.
  4. ^ "Here's why lawyers are 'salivating' over self-driving cars". Business Insider Inc. December 22, 2015. When, in the near future, a driverless car gets into an accident with another driverless car, it's going to be difficult to establish who is at fault. Is it the "driver," the car company, or even the programmer?..."You're going to get a whole host of new defendants," Kevin Dean, an attorney suing General Motors over its faulty ignition switches, told Bloomberg. "Computer programmers, computer companies, designers of algorithms, Google, mapping companies, even states...." Right now, the person with primary responsibility for a car accident is the car owner. But when a robot is driving the car, that is likely going to be hard for car owners to stomach.
  5. ^ "Section 2 – Driving Safely" (PDF). Commercial Driver License Manual 2005. United States Department of Transportation. July 2014. pp. 2–15, 2–19, 2–26, 13–1. [pg 2-15] 2.6.4 – Speed and Distance Ahead: You should always be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead. Fog, rain, or other conditions may require that you slowdown to be able to stop in the distance you can see. ... [pg 2-19] 2.8.3 – Drivers Who Are Hazards: Vehicles may be partly hidden by blind intersections or alleys. If you only can see the rear or front end of a vehicle but not the driver, then he or she can't see you. Be alert because he/she may back out or enter into your lane. Always be prepared to stop. ... [pg 2-26] 2.11.4 – Vehicle Factors: Headlights. At night your headlights will usually be the main source of light for you to see by and for others to see you. You can't see nearly as much with your headlights as you see in the daytime. With low beams you can see ahead about 250 feet and with high beams about 350-500 feet. You must adjust your speed to keep your stopping distance within your sight distance. This means going slowly enough to be able to stop within the range of your headlights. ... [pg 13-1] 13.1.2 – Intersections As you approach an intersection: Check traffic thoroughly in all directions. Decelerate gently. Brake smoothly and, if necessary, change gears. If necessary, come to a complete stop (no coasting) behind any stop signs, signals, sidewalks, or stop lines maintaining a safe gap behind any vehicle in front of you. Your vehicle must not roll forward or backward. When driving through an intersection: Check traffic thoroughly in all directions. Decelerate and yield to any pedestrians and traffic in the intersection. Do not change lanes while proceeding through the intersection. Keep your hands on the wheel.

rfc rename to uber death[edit]

Request for article name proposals that meet WP:TITLE: "Generally, article titles are based on what the subject is called in reliable sources." and is agreeable to the editors. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 00:10, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

Previously it was proposed to rename article to something like "uber death" here and here. The first discussion was an informal request for thoughts where the second one was a formal move request. The move request name was opposed as too complex. I'm unable to come up with a sleek name and hoping someone will come up with a name that is agreeable to the editors while meeting guidelines in wp:title.   Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 00:10, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

  • So what is actually being asked here? What's the question? Qualitist (talk) 00:46, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
A better name that reflects that the subject is about uber driverless death in reliable sources. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 02:32, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
I think all these "first deaths" should be managed consistently by a "first deaths wikiproject group." By the way, the first person killed by a robot was arguably with a V-1 rocket or V-2 rocket which were commonly called "robot bombs," which would not have been Robert Williams who died decades later in an automotive plant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 40.140.35.69 (talk) 01:51, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Comment on the first deaths notion, or generally first-something: It can get very tricky and cause a lot of unnecessary time wasting. There are a lof of things Wikipedia is not and one of them is a listing of quiz answers. What I'm saying is that something happening for the first time in history should be noted here, if at all, with significant care and robust citing. -The Gnome (talk) 09:38, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
  • What do people think about renaming the article to: "Uber self-driving car pedestrian ath"? Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 01:11, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
I think it’s misleading to say self-driving since it was Uber’s decision to turn off critical self driving technology and rely on the human driver that killed Ms. Herzberg. —В²C 15:25, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
Do you have a suggestion for the name? How about in the first sentence and the first paragraph we talk about it wasn't really a self driving car? Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 18:28, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes it seems Vasquez allowed Herzberg to be killed as she was too busy streaming The Voice on her cell-phone. But the article seems to be lacking any clear description of how familiar Vasquez was at driving this type of vehicle. Did she actually know what she was supposed to be doing? Did she forget? Martinevans123 (talk) 18:41, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
Good lord, dead as a consequence of someone watching The Voice? I can't fathom anything more painfully meaningless than that... Snow let's rap 04:47, 3 January 2019 (UTC)
I have sometimes felt like I was dying, while watching it. But I've never actually managed it yet. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:28, 3 January 2019 (UTC)
what and dead by drunk driver or txting driver is less painfully meaningless עם ישראל חי (talk) 21:16, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep present title: This is a perfectly appropriate title which is consistent with all policies and naming conventions of relevance and provides a stable, reliable location for any reader researching the matter. There's no need for anything "sleeker" here and most "uber death" type of alternatives present substantial issues with regard to ambiguity. I'm honestly confused as to why the OP feels a change is in order here, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that much of what I am saying now was pointed out in the previous rename discussions.
Edit: Actually I do see the source of the OP's concern, upon reading the most recent discussion, but I must retain my advised course of action of not changing the title: I believe Martinevans already capably summarized the matter in that previous discussion: the present title, while not focused upon the nature of the tragedy itself, is the most distinguishing option. There may well come a time when the topic is larger than this one death, at which point a merger of content would be appropriate and the name would no longer be the most sensible basis for a title, but until that time it is the most functional and logical option. Snow let's rap 04:47, 3 January 2019 (UTC)
"Most distinguishing option" is not part of the guidelines for article naming. Please see wp:title. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 17:36, 3 January 2019 (UTC)
Yes, believe me, I'm quite familiar with the relevant policy, which is how I know it does in fact emphasize disambiguity throughout. Beyond that general objective, of the five factors listed in WP:NAMINGCRITERIA, four (naturalness, precision, conciseness and consistency) are all quite clearly better served by the present title than anything in the vein you are shooting for here, while the fourth, recognizability to a reader already familiar with the topic, is at best a wash between the two. Look, you don't really need to look farther than the 'See also' section of this very article, which lists the following five articles whose titles are surely the most informative to the question here:
In each of these cases the circumstances are (for all functional purposes relevant to this determination) more or less identical to those in the present case; the individual was not notable outside of the nature of their death being a first, and yet the articles are named for them (and the nature of their death where disambiguation from another person of the same name is necessary), not a rough description of the event, which would cause all manner of searchability, conciseness, and precision issues, to say nothing of the potential ambiguities once deaths of this sort begin to mount. Believe me, there will be a general article on Deaths from accidents involving self-driving cars (or something to that effect) before too terribly long. And then, not much longer after that, we will have a clear WP:COMMONNAME for the topic as derived from whatever shorthand society decides to adopt for such accidents, just as we have COMMONNAME articles for automobile accident and plane crash. But that article is not this article--this is an article about a specific death, and I see no practical or principled reason why our article on the first person killed by a self-driving vehicle should deviate so strikingly from how literally ever other article regarding "the first person to be killed by transportation mode X" has been approached, particularly when that standard established approach leads to the most concise and precise (and least unwieldy) option. I believe your ardour here comes from a good-faith objective, but, with respect, I think your missing the forest for the trees! Snow let's rap 05:12, 4 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Suggestion: I'm perfectly happy with the title as it is but my suggestion for an alternative would be "First pedestrian fatality caused by self-driving car". This is simple and unambiguous. Does it need to mention that the car was operated by Uber? In which case it could be "First pedestrian fatality caused by an Uber self-driving car". Or something along those lines. Rodney Baggins (talk) 17:46, 3 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Except, to be accurate, it should be something like "First pedestrian fatality caused by a supposed Uber self-driving car, but key self-driving crash-avoidance technology had been disabled." I'm not seriously suggesting that, just pointing out how without that critical caveat it's misleading. With the disabling of that feature, it was basically a level 2 car, which is hardly considered self-driving. --В²C 21:03, 3 January 2019 (UTC)
  • The article's title is fine as it is. Using something that involves the company's name places undue weight on the company. Calling a death an "XYZ company death" implies responsibility or, at the least, involvement of XYZ in the death. The fact that a death occured inside an XYZ store or an ABC cab or a QRS office should not lead to a title with the company's name. That would fail criterion #3 of WP:CRITERIA about precision. Per WP:COMMONNAME, when there are multiple names for a subject, all of them fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others.. -The Gnome (talk) 14:49, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
    • The Gnome, I don't think in this case using the company's name would be putting undue weight on the company. Such weight is quite due in this case. This isn't a random thing that happened to happen to an Uber car. It happened as a direct result of terrible decision making by Uber. Instead of fixing the object detection subsystem that reported too many false positives, Uber decided to disable it and instead rely on a single (not two) human driver that they did not properly train for this responsibility. --В²C 19:00, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
Greetings, В²C. I'm sorry but all of what you're saying amounts to personal opinion. Do we have a case in court where these things have been decided? We do not. We cannot appoint ourselves judge and jury. We're not in Wikipedia to advocate for the American consumer nor to chase after corporate malpractice. The argument presented above is based on policy and not my evaluation of what transpired. -The Gnome (talk) 21:58, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
The Gnome, no, it's not opinion. I didn't make it up! It's all verifiable facts which are in the official report about the crash, undisputed. --В²C 23:44, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
  • NTSB: Uber Self-Driving Car Had Disabled Emergency Brake System Before Fatal Crash (kqed.org) "Investigators with the federal agency determined that the car's detection systems, including radar and laser instruments, observed a woman walking her bicycle across the road roughly six seconds before impact — likely enough time, in other words, for a vehicle driving 43 mph to brake and avoid fatally injuring the woman. ... According to Uber," the agency said, "emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control, to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior. The vehicle operator is relied on to intervene and take action. The system is not designed to alert the operator.". It's unbelievable to be that Uber is not getting more heat for this. --В²C 23:51, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Uber’s Self-Driving Car Didn’t Malfunction, It Was Just Bad (The Atlantic) "Other self-driving companies’ testing protocols involve two people: one to drive and the other to monitor the system’s outputs and do the computer work. Uber itself did this too until late 2017, when the company decided that the second operator’s job could be done by looking at logs back at the office. “We decided to make this transition because after testing, we felt we could accomplish the task of the second person—annotating each intervention with information about what was happening around the car—by looking at our logs after the vehicle had returned to base, rather than in real time,” an Uber spokeswoman told CityLab earlier this year." --В²C 00:01, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • FATALITIES VS FALSE POSITIVES: THE LESSONS FROM THE TESLA AND UBER CRASHES "the same reason that the Uber emergency-braking system was turned off: there are “too many” false positives and the result is that far too often the cars brake needlessly under normal driving circumstances." --В²C 00:09, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Uber chose to disable emergency braking system before fatal Arizona robot car crash, safety officials say "Uber also disabled its own emergency braking function whenever the test car was under driverless computer control, 'to reduce potential for erratic behavior.' Uber had expected the test driver to both take control of the vehicle at a moment’s notice, while also monitoring the robot car’s performance on a center-console mounted screen." --В²C 00:13, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • How about: Elaine Herzberg: killed by Uber --В²C 00:37, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • First that's defamatory second she crossed 4 lanes in the middle of the road in the dark. עם ישראל חי (talk) 21:16, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Defamatory of whom? Did you read the articles linked above? The technology saw her - the darkness was irrelevant. Uber's decision to disable the technology that was supposed to react by braking is why it didn't stop and why it hit her. Why are we trying to obscure this well known fact? This is the exact kind of crash a self-driving car should never be in, and the only reason it crashed was entirely because of terrible decisions made by Uber. --В²C 22:08, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Nobody is "trying to obscure" anything, let's not be histrionic. As you are obviously an experienced editor, I am sure you must be familiar with our WP:No original research and WP:synthesis policies. It doesn't matter how much evidence you've lined up to support your argument or how confident you are in the "obvious" conclusions that result from analyzing that information in the aggregate--it is simply not appropriate for us to stamp our own conclusions on to the article with regard to who ultimately bears the blame for this woman's unfortunate death. There's ongoing litigation regarding those questions and in that limbo, the sources that we have on the topic (WP:PRIMARY and WP:SECONDARY) have chosen not to make any explicit determinations as to that matter. Perhaps that is a consequence of the legal issues, or perhaps is it is simply an ethical call on their part based on what conclusions they feel they can realistically make at this point, but regardless of the cause, that is the state of affairs and we cannot (under relevant policy) reach to stitch conclusions together from the disparate facts and statements found in those sources, where those sources do not explicitly express those conclusions themselves. That would be very much one of the most obvious exercises of original research and synthesis I have ever seen on this project if we did proceed in that manner. Snow let's rap 10:41, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
Fully agree. The current article title seems perfectly clear and is based on an indisputable fact. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:04, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • What ongoing litigation? Uber admitted fault and settled with the family days after the crash. There’s no OR or synthesis here. It’s all in the sources. —В²C 14:51, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, Uber settled. But the article says this: "While a confidential settlement buried the liability issue, it suggested a sufficient legal cause of action." Is this incorrect? Where's the source saying that they "admitted fault"? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:58, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • No, how about Elaine Herzberg: killed by Uber Board of Directors? I mean, let's be discreet and leave the CEO out of it. Face-smile.svg -The Gnome (talk) 11:32, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Now you're catching on. --В²C 17:52, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep the present NPOV title: discussion about the details can go in the text. (And don't forget William Huskisson who had the distinction of being first person killed by a train (OK "first widely reported railway passenger casualty" to be precise), though he had plenty of other claims to notability!) PamD 11:42, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Hmm, possible interesting list here: List of first deaths from specific causes? Interesting, though undoubtedly very contentious and dependent on how many specifications are included! There are probably "first casualty of World War I" etc assertions too ... Perhaps let's not go there. PamD 11:53, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • As far as I can see, List of unusual deaths has articles with titles which are just the name, although some of these may be notable for other reasons. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:02, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • @Martinevans123: Thanks for that link - quite a fascinating read! Makes one want to tread very carefully through the hazards of life. PamD 17:08, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, Herzberg is included there, of course. So I guess it will deter more people from using Uber self-drive cars. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:13, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
  • A wikiproject group ought to be created to manage all these consistently. Also, it does not matter if someone pushed the first generation self-driving car off the top level of a parking structure, and it killed a pedestrian far below, it would still be the first death by a self-driving car. Who was the first cartoon killed by a piano? Also, the page title Death of XXXXX woman is an awful record to have in your school browser history! It almost sounds horribly analogous to Death to America! I prefer the word fatality.
Above comment added by 40.140.35.124. -The Gnome (talk)
So, "Wikipedia: Fatality" perhaps? Martinevans123 (talk) 09:46, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Identifying Uber corporate as responsible for the death is NPOV. There is no reasonable doubt about this. Instead of fixing their object detection module to not have so many false positives, they chose to disable emergency braking in their "self-driving" car (which makes it hardly self-driving) and, to save money, decided to rely one one poorly trained human backup driver instead of two. --В²C 17:52, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Identifying Uber corporate as responsible for the death is surely just an opinion (in my opinion!) so how can it be identified as NPOV? There is most definitely reasonable doubt about this! One might argue that the designer of the self-driving car was at fault for making it possible to disable emergency braking in the first place, or the supplier was at fault for making the car available for use on the public highway whilst still suffering from so many false positives. This is not cut and dried and therefore it is counter-intuitive to declare any POV to be neutral! Rodney Baggins (talk) 22:11, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep the present title. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (events) seems to be the most directly applicable guideline. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (events) § Transportation incidents has subsections on aviation, maritime, bridge collapse and train wrecks, but nothing specific to road traffic accidents. This may be reflective of the fact that road accidents are so common as to make few of them newsworthy beyond local coverage, and thus notable. Generally the road accidents that are notable for coverage in Wikipedia involve more than a few deaths and/or highly unusual circumstances, such as Schoharie limousine crash, a title settled on after discussion, or this accident. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (events) § Maintaining neutral point of view is the guidance section that should be applied here. The first step, I think, is to examine the headlines used by the sources cited in this article to see if there is a common name used by the majority of them.
    • "In Memoriam: Elaine Marie Herzberg" certainly supports keeping the existing title
    • "Driverless Uber car 'not to blame' for woman's death", "Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, Where Robots Roam", "Video shows Uber robot car in fatal accident did not try to avoid woman", "Exclusive: Arizona governor and Uber kept self-driving program secret, emails reveal", "Uber puts the brakes on testing robot cars in California after Arizona fatality", "Fatal crash with self-driving car was a first — like Bridget Driscoll's was 121 years ago with one of the first cars", "Self-driving Uber car hits, kills pedestrian in Tempe", "Tempe Police: Uber Self-Driving Car Didn't Brake 'Significantly' Before Killing Pedestrian", "What went wrong with Uber's Volvo in fatal crash? Experts shocked by technology failure", "Arizona police: Pedestrian stepped in front of self-driving Uber before crash"... I don't see any common name emerging from these titles. The car was "not to blame" but the car "kills pedestrian". "Experts shocked by tech failure" but "pedestrian stepped in front of car". There is no consensus point-of-view presented by these headlines.
Next we look for a generally accepted word used to identify the event. Self-driving/driverless or Uber seem to be the leading candidates, but I think the facts that there was a person sitting in the front seat who potentially could have taken control (i.e. was the car truly "driverless"?), and "Uber" was not singularly responsible for authorizing this (they were encouraged by government officials) is problematic in terms of imputing blame. So I think the conservative approach is to default to finding no common name for the event and no generally accepted descriptive word, and thus use a descriptive name that does not carry POV implications.
  • The name of the person killed, "Elaine Herzberg" does not carry any POV implications.
  • I think there's a problem with trying to title something as the "first" of anything. "First" is a word that often needs qualification, i.e. "first known", "first in America", etc. The previous RM for this article suggests there may be a future self-driving car pedestrian deaths article, and then this article would become a summary style subtopic of that. We already have a self-driving car liability article, so if any liability for this accident is found, then such liability may be discussed in that article, while linking to this article for further details.
  • Wikipedia takes a longer-term view of events than news outlets reporting on current events. We can however take guidance from an example I cited above, "Fatal crash with self-driving car was a first — like Bridget Driscoll's was 121 years ago with one of the first cars". How did that source identify that other historic first? They used Bridget Driscoll's name, just like Wikipedia does. Using the victim's name unambiguously separates that topic from other similar "firsts" it could be confused with, such as the death of Henry H. Bliss. – wbm1058 (talk) 15:17, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Noting that there are currently only two redirects to this article. If you feel that readers searching for this title aren't finding it, feel free to create more redirects from likely search phrases. The fact that there is support for multiple redirects to an article, but not multiple titles for an article, suggests that we can support neutral POV by supporting multiple redirects from titles incorporating all reasonable points of view. For example, self-driving car pedestrian death may redirect to here, until Wikpedia has articles on more than one such incident, at which time the generically-titled redirect could be retargeted. – wbm1058 (talk) 16:07, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
  • This has become extremely philosophical. I suggest reading Proximate cause (law) and Proximate and ultimate causation. Did John Wilkes Booth kill Abraham Lincoln, or was it the bullet, or was it the fault of the Philadelphia Deringer pistol? At some point the buck stops. Uber is an organization composed of many people that ultimately played the proximate role. Whoever had the final say probably played the biggest role from within. You could hypothetically intimidate someone to wrongfully settle (not in this case!) and in many ways a lawsuit is a gamble. If we trust the trial courts for encyclopedic fact, O. J. Simpson is innocent of murder—an absurd fact (non-civil) that he later challenged in his own book If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer which poked fun of double jeopardy. How did Wikipedia handle that? There is no such thing as objectivity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 40.140.35.67 (talk) 02:28, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
Greetings. I appreciate your general overview of what the project of Wikipedia is trying to accomplish, as I'm sure others appreciate it as well. However, Wikipedia is not after "objectivity." The texts are all based in sources, selected and assessed on the basis of specific criteria. It's a grand project (for many people, including me) but not as grandiose as a project after "objectivity" would be. We can only try our best and proffer a balanced presentation of issues, opinions, viewpoints, and so on, as the case might be. (Most articles are based on solid facts and data. Not every article is about a controversial incident!) From then on, the users are on their own.
In the case of the O. J. Simpson trial, Wikipedia did not take a "stand". No matter what editors' personal opinions had been, the effort was towards presenting what other people said about it, i.e. the jury, the judges, the lawyers, the press, etc, as reported in said reliable sources, with WP:WEIGHT in mind and other such guidelines about content. This here is not really as "philosophical" as you make it out to be. It's just a proposal to change the title of an article in a manner that assigns explicit responsibility to Uber, as a corporation, for the death of a person. Wait and see how it plays out. Take care. -The Gnome (talk) 08:51, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
P.S. : And yes, although corporations are "composed of many people" and some people ultimately play the "proximate role", quite often the whole corporation takes the blame for a mishap or something intentional. It all depends each time on the specifics of the case and how it's been reported. Check if the articles titled "Exxon Valdez oil spill", "Enron scandal", or "BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill" are still up. -The Gnome (talk) 08:51, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
I'd suggest that the illusory "search for the single cause" in accident investigation is comparable with the illusory "search for the person to blame" in many legal systems. Those two may even be tied together. Indeed that latter could be seen as being at the very heart of the entire Adversarial system. It's obviously a limitation that any Wikipedia article has to have a single name, and usually a short one. There's usually no scope for dialectical subtlety or for partial attribution. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:38, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your thoughtful, kind, and insightful replies. Trying to obtain objectivity is as futile as trying to create a perpetual motion machine; that is neither my goal nor is it Wikipedia policy. However, I think NPOV can be a very dangerous argument, it is too often the logical fallacy of argument to moderation. Truth does not have to be in the middle, one side can be much more wrong than the other, especially because of the Bandwagon effect. Any fool who drags the discussion to one extreme with a fallacious appeal to authority—as opposed to reason—changes the middle point, but not fact or truth. As for point of view, there is common law, civil law, religious law, all which could be applied to a traffic accident in different parts of the world, but only common law makes sense for an accident in the US. For example, if we do something as ridiculous as apply Sharia law to the case it might be Vasquez's fault entirely because she is a woman in the driver's seat, which is an entirely wrong reason for anyone to be culpable for anything in Arizona. To take the POV argument to a further extreme, OBL was a terrorist according to US POV and definition, but also the definition of a martyr to the countless fervent fundamentalists who supported his cause. That does not mean the truth is halfway between! As for causation, it would be heresy to blame Lincoln for being in the way of the bullet, but the truth is that if here were not in Ford's Theater he would have lived another day. It was certainly better public policy to punish Booth, rather than Deringer, Lincoln, or even Ulysses S. Grant's wife in the long sequence of events—some are more responsible and deserve all the blame, even if this single cause is a heuristic. If there is one thing for which I'd advocate it is to use the word fatality. The word "Death" is ambiguous in that it could be applied as a verbal threat, fatality is less subjective. You don't have to feel that way, but there are probably more ways to experience that thought with the current word. As for the Exxon Valdez oil spill, there was a lot of blame to go around, even to the Coast Guard, but it certainly made captain Joseph Hazelwood a notable if not infamous person. It is hard in the Uber case, not to see that the driver was set up to fail by management; hiring a felon certainly had the ancillary benefit of facially absorbing blame for a mishap caused by Uber putting a car on the street where a solo driver was required to monitor a computer screen. Waymo has driven more miles by an astronomical factor, has killed no pedestrians, and may possibly never do so because of its programming design and business decisions.[1] In other words, this precise scenario was foreseen over a year before the event.[1] Uber has a history of expedient and unscrupulous business decisions. To that, "Uber Self-driving Car Fatality" would be entirely consistent with Enron scandal et alii. When will we know to change the name? After the statute of limitations runs out for manslaughter? We all have a POV, and that is a good thing; in fact we have little choice in the matter no matter what we write. And yes this has become controversial for a whole variety of reasons beyond Uber[2] fair or not. Perhaps this was the original sin.

References

  1. ^ a b Davies, Alex (January 1, 2017). "The Very Human Problem Blocking the Path to Self-Driving Cars". Wired Magazine. Level 3 seems like a natural evolution of the tech you find in Tesla's Autopilot, which demands vigilance even if not everybody obeys. More work for the robot, less for the human. But it's a Herculean challenge for engineers and designers. "Having a human there to resume control is very difficult," says Bryan Reimer, an MIT researcher who studies driving behavior. Once relieved of the burden of constantly paying attention, people are quick to lose focus, and getting them back on task is difficult....Simply put, solving this problem is almost as difficult as figuring out how to make cars drive themselves. That's why Google—whose autonomous effort is now called Waymo—almost immediately abandoned any thought of building anything but a fully autonomous car.
  2. ^ Romero, Simon (December 31, 2018). "Wielding Rocks and Knives, Arizonans Attack Self-Driving Cars". New York Times.