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Crash Video Shows Uber's Failure to Protect Pedestrian, Experts Say

Crash Video Shows Uber's Failure to Protect Pedestrian, Experts Say

Police in Tempe, Arizona, have released two videos of Sunday's fatal crash involving a pedestrian and an Uber self-driving vehicle undergoing testing.

In the video, it appears that the autonomous vehicle failed to slow down or move to avoid Elaine Herzberg, who was walking her bike across the road.

Dashcam footage shows the driver - identified by police as 44-year-old Rafaela Vasquez - looking down until seconds before the crash and then suddenly looking up with a shocked expression on her face just before the impact.

The videos of the auto hitting Elaine Herzberg also demonstrated that the "safety driver" inside the vehicle did not seem to be monitoring the road, raising concerns about the testing systems Uber and other self-driving vehicle companies have deployed in cities across the US.

Wednesday I wrote about a fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona involving an autonomous Uber vehicle. "Our cars remain grounded, and we're assisting local, state, and federal authorities in any way we can".

Tempe police Sgt. Ronald Elcock said that the pedestrian stepped into the street outside of the crosswalk and was immediately struck by the vehicle. AZCentral reports the woman was homeless and died from her injuries at a nearby hospital.

The incident is the first fatal accident involving a self-driving vehicle.

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It is unclear why the lidar sensor, which is functional in the dark, failed to detect Elaine, who was casually walking across the road. The driver was recorded by a camera inside the vehicle, looking down (perhaps at her phone) for several seconds.

Also in question was the human driver, who wasn't operating the vehicle because it was in automatic mode.

"Usually the argument is someone was negligent, and they didn't follow through with that duty, which is negligence", said Richelsoph.

"Shadows don't matter to Lidar", said Cummings. The ride-hailing giant has yet to explain how the vehicle's lidar and radar technology, which are created to work both during the day and at night, failed to see the pedestrian. "She had been making clear progress across multiple lanes of traffic, which should have been in [Uber's] system purview to pick up". "But the potentially drastic shift in accident liability associated with self-driving technology is causing many professionals to question the legal implications of the industry".

Along with its video, Tempe police issued a statement about the ongoing investigation into what happened in the Arizona city. She said she suspects that the Uber vehicle would not be at fault in the accident. Behind the wheel was the driver, but to react to the appearance of women on the road he couldn't.

"The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them", she said.

"Though no information is available, one would have to conclude based on this video alone, that there are problems in the Uber vehicle software that need to be rectified", he said.