Uber self-driving car pedestrian fatality

Occurred: March 2018

Can you improve this page?
Share your insights with us

WIRED has published an interview with Rafaela Vasquez, the test driver for an Uber autonomous car that crashed into a woman walking her bicycle across a road in Tempe, Arizona, on March 18, 2018. 

Operating in self-drive mode with Vasquez in the driving seat, the Uber fatally struck Elaine Herzberg. The incident is the first known case of a fatality involving a self-driving car.

While Uber escaped (pdf) prosecution, Vasquez was indicted by prosecutors in Arizona in August 2020 on a count of negligent homicide on the basis that she was checking Slack messages from Uber on her work mobile phone and watching a reality show on her personal phone.

Uber suspended its self-driving test programme following the incident, later restarting it in Pittsburgh.

Operator: Uber
Developer: Uber
Country: USA
Sector: Automotive
Purpose: Automate steering, acceleration, braking
Technology: Self-driving system
Issue: Safety; Accuracy/reliability; Liability
Transparency: Black box


Legal, regulatory

News, commentary, analysis

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2022