The driverless car thing got sold to governments because it would:
Let cars drive closer together so reducing the need to build so many roads;
It would reduce accidents so reducing medical and clean-up costs;
It would give governments control over car drivers.
In making their case to governments, companies over-promised on the tech.
Having over-promised on the tech, companies are trying to push driverless technology further and quicker than they should.
Uber is said to have reduced the Lidar units in its driverless car from seven to one before killing the lady in Arizona.
The remaining single Lidar was mounted on the roof and its Velodyne sensors, while effective for 360 deg lateral vision, have limited vertical vision which is said to have created blind spots around the perimeter of the lower car body.
It was known, it was warned against, but Uber persisted with it, dazzled no doubt, by the prospect of driverless taxis.
Uber makes a $1 billion a quarter loss, it is said to only recoup 40% of the cost of a ride, Uber’s take per trip is estimated to be 40% of the fare.
Without the driver, voilà, the company breaks even.
That’s a heady prospect for Uber but not worth a human life