Uber self-driving car pedestrian fatality

March 2022

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 Pittburgh.

Operator: Uber
Developer:
Uber
Country:
USA
Sector:
Automotive
Purpose:
Test autonomous driving
Technology:
Self-driving system
Issue:
Safety; Accuracy/reliability; Liability
Opacity:
Black box

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