Video Released of Deadly Self-Driving Uber Crash

Self-Driving Uber Crash Video

A deadly self-driving Uber crash involving a pedestrian crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona, remains under investigation as new details continue to come to light.

Self-Driving Uber Crash Kills Pedestrian

On Sunday evening, March 18, an autonomous Uber Volvo XC90, traveling around 40 mph, struck 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she walked her plastic bag-laden bike across the street. She later died at a local hospital.

Earlier this week, the San Francisco Chronicle published a story citing that Uber was “likely not at fault” according to its exclusive interview with Tempe Police Chief Silvia Moir. Moir stated that video from the vehicle’s front-facing camera showed the woman pushing her bike on a dark center median, then suddenly stepping out of the shadows and into traffic, about 100 yards from a crosswalk.

But video from the vehicle’s driver’s seat facing cameras released to the public by Tempe Police shows there is more to the story.  It shows the backup Uber driver, 44-year-old Rafaela Vasquez, didn’t see what was coming because she was looking down in the moments before the accident. Uber has reportedly not said whether Vasquez was using a cellphone. The released footage also shows a front-facing camera angle, but police cut out before the actual moment of impact.

Uber released its own statement regarding the footage:

Self-Driving Technology Still in Infancy

The driver’s apparent distraction is one issue. According to the Wall Street Journal, Uber says it uses either one or two operators across its fleet depending on certain requirements. They are there to take control of the wheel when needed.

The crash is also calling self-driving technology, still in its infancy, into question. A professor at the University of Texas in  Austin told the Wall Street Journal the accident “appears to be a serious failure of the Uber perception systems.”

No charges have been filed. The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating and all of Uber’s self-driving operations remain suspended.

Photo Credit: Uber

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6 Comments
  1. Al 6 months ago

    Looking down at what ? Why not look ahead ? Those are the questions .

  2. kristen Toscano 6 months ago

    I am currently leasing a 2016 Rogue with the lease ending in November. I am in the market for a new leased or slightly used small SUV or sedan with more power than my Rogue. I am also thinking about a hybrid this time. What might you recommend? Love your show.

    • Author
      Amy Plemons 6 months ago

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      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

  3. Steve 6 months ago

    I live in So Cal and after listening to dozens of drive time radio spots on your one and only Chevy dealer, Rotolo (sp), Chevrolet, what’s up?

    • Author
      Amy Plemons 6 months ago

      Steve,

      It’s simple, we look for the best. If we can’t find a dealer in any market that represents our values, we’ll leave that brand empty. No dealer is better than a bad dealer ruining my reputation. We have 24 dealers in So Cal presently and still looking: https://www.carprousa.com/city/los-angeles-orange-county

      Thanks for listening.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

  4. Joshua 6 months ago

    No surprise liberals blame the pedestrian, not the self-driving car. Since Obama forced bankruptcy on the big 3, these cars (as well as hybrids, and electric) were forced on the public. Over 99% of vehicle buyers still want gasoline powered cars. That woman driving should be charged with negligent homicide, as well as uber.

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