Tempe Police police have released two videos that show the moments leading up an autonomous Uber vehicle hitting and killing a pedestrian in Arizona. One video shows the view from the car, the 14-second video shows the woman entering the path of the vehicle and stops just at the point of collision.
Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit is actively investigating
the details of this incident that occurred on March 18th. We will provide updated information regarding the investigation once it is available. pic.twitter.com/2dVP72TziQ
— Tempe Police (@TempePolice) March 21, 2018
The second video is filmed looking into the interior of the car and shows the driver of the vehicle in the moments leading up to the crash. The car was in autonomous mode at the time of the accident with a driver in the car as a ‘caretaker’.
Driver still in control of the vehicle
The driver has the ability to take over the controls of the car at any time. The footage shows the driver, 44-year-old Rafaela Vasquez as looking down at something in the interior of the car as it drove along a quiet dark street.
Vasquez appears shocked as she sees the pedestrian at the last second. The victim of the incident, Elaine Herzberg was crossing the road around 10 pm last Sunday in Tempe, Arizona, when she was struck and killed by the Volvo SUV, fitted with Uber branded self-driving technology.
Experts warn of technology backlash
Although Herzberg did not cross at a crosswalk, autonomous driving experts believe the car still should have detected the human in its path. Uber has temporarily suspended its autonomous car program while it investigates the incident.
Neither Uber nor the police have come forward with an explanation of what happened in this instance. All that is known is that the car which was traveling at approximately 40 miles per hour hit the victim without slowing down or attempting to swerve.
Relatives of Herzberg have expressed outrage that Uber plans to reinstate the autonomous driving program following their internal investigation. Experts warn that self-driving cars are in a delicate stage between full autonomy and the guidance of drivers.
The driver, in this case, did not appear to be watching the road in front. The investigation into the accident continues.