Uber self-driving car pedestrian fatality
Occurred: March 2018
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.
Purpose: Test autonomous driving
Technology: Self-driving system
Issue: Safety; Accuracy/reliability; Liability
Transparency: Black box