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Investigators use Uber crash SUV in recreation


The driver, identified as 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez, was in the self-driving auto when it fatally hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she crossed an unlit Tempe, Ariz., roadway outside of a crosswalk with her bicycle.

One video shows dashcam footage of the impact.

Police have released footage from a fatal crash involving one of Uber's self-driving vehicles.

The spokeswoman for the company said: 'Our thoughts are with Elaine's loved ones. We're heartbroken by what happened this week, and our cars remain grounded. We see that Herzberg indeed crossed the street away from the intersection, confirming earlier police reports that she was "outside the crosswalk" when the collision occurred. Investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board may uncover any problems with the vehicle.

"There will no doubt be an exhaustive investigation of the tragic incident involving an Uber self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian", Akshay Anand, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said in an emailed statement. She's moving on a dark but open road, so radar should have detected her'. When the video stops it shows that the driver looks to the road with a shock reaction.

Also in question was the human driver, who wasn't operating the vehicle because it was in automatic mode. Although he appeared at first blush to be a victim, police say Vasquez had staged the robbery with a friend to pay off the friend's drug debt and give Vasquez a portion of the proceeds, according to court records.


The SUV's cameras may have failed to pick up Herzberg because she was crossing from a median - which could've created shadows that confused the Uber's device, experts said.

Federal and local officials investigating a fatal self-driving Uber crash in a Phoenix suburb have recreated the wreck by using the same Uber vehicle but with a person in control. Herzberg seems to have been crossing the road from the left while the self-driving Uber vehicle was driving on the right-hand side of the road.

"There should be a criminal case", she said.

Cortica's CEO Igal Raichelgauz said that would've been enough time for an autonomous vehicle to react and save Herzberg's life. But what about the human driver?

"It's very clear it would have been hard to avoid this collision in any kind of mode based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway", said Tempe police chief Sylvia Moir.

"This video screams to me there are serious problems with their system, and there are serious problems with their safety driver not being able to pay attention, which is to be expected", Missy Cummings, an engineering professor and director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory at Duke University.

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