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Top brass BMW engineer weighs in on fatal Uber crash

by Ben Hsu

\"No possibility\" of Level 4 or 5 autonomous driving without accidents with current technology, he said.

A BMW board of management who oversees development has weighed in on this week's fatal autonomous car crash, in which an Arizona woman was killed after being struck by one of Uber's self-driving Volvos.

According to Motoring, Klaus Frolich warned at an annual accounts conference Thursday that today's autonomous technology is not advanced enough to operate at Level 4 or 5 without accidents.

"At the moment, with the quality and ability of the sensors and the computer processing speed and performance, there is no possibility to have highly autonomous cars without accidents," he said.

Uber, who shifted autonomous testing to Arizona's less regulated environment after numerous warnings from California, halted all testing of its self-driving cars this week after one collided with Elaine Herzberg, 49, who darted across a dark street Tempe on Sunday night, killing her.

Frolich called the crash "very regrettable" and reiterated his stance that "The path towards autonomous driving is a very long path." For its part, BMW intends to develop Level 5 autonomous cars and has plans to test on public streets in Hamburg "only if and where we know we are very secure," Frolich said.