Death by software - crimes of programmers and their robot cars

Last Sunday night a programmer inadvertently killed a woman with software. We know where he works but he has not been charged with any crime. The place of business was Uber's Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and one of the 400 programmers there directed a self-driving car in Tempe, AZ to ignore and strike Elaine Herzberg, a pedestrian, crossing a wide four lane street with stoplights and well-marked crosswalks.

We know that accidents happen because drivers make mistakes. We know accidents happen because pedestrians make mistakes. But this is the first time that there's been an interaction between a programmer and a pedestrian where someone died that I know of.

Washington Post article quoted a Duke engineering professor,  Dr. Mary Cummings, saying that the federal government does not require the programmers to perform any testing on their software before placing these nearly two-ton autonomous machines in close proximity to people who don't know t…


Welcome to my Church Technology Business blog, also known as the place where I put my thoughts about all those topics. I write a general technology and business blog at Social IT Outbursts while teaching programming and business courses at Centriq Training here in Kansas City.
I also enjoy teaching business at the Southern Baptist Spurgeon College,

My main topics are the church, technology, and business. and not about how to use computers in church or how to market your religious group. But I will talk about them eventually I'm sure. I welcome your comments and thoughts. Keep up on the blog through my doug_hoff Twitter account.