Uber not criminally liable in fatal 2018 Arizona self-driving crash: prosecutors

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The Yavapai County Attorney said in a letter made public that there was "no basis for criminal liability" for Uber, but that the back-up driver, Rafaela Vasquez, should be referred to the Tempe police for additional investigation. Prosecutors' decision not to pursue criminal charges removes one potential headache for the ride-hailing company as the company's executives try to resolve a long list of federal investigations, lawsuits and other legal risks ahead of a hotly anticipated initial public offering this year. The crash involved a Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle that Uber was using to test self-driving technology. The fatal accident was a setback from which the company has yet to recover; its autonomous vehicle testing remains dramatically reduced. The accident was also a blow to the entire autonomous vehicle industry and led other companies to temporarily halt their testing.


NTSB: Uber Self-Driving Car Had Disabled Emergency Brake System Before Fatal Crash

NPR

A vehicle drives by the spot where an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian earlier this year in Tempe, Ariz. The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday on the collision. A vehicle drives by the spot where an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian earlier this year in Tempe, Ariz. The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday on the collision. The Uber self-driving vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian two months ago in Tempe, Ariz., took note of the victim with its sensors, but its software did not engage the car's brakes to prevent the collision, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board.


Self-driving Uber likely killed woman because it ignored her

Daily Mail

Uber's self-driving technology software detected a woman as she was crossing the street with her bicycle in Arizona in March but failed to react immediately before she was fatally hit by an autonomous vehicle, according to the results of an internal investigation. The cameras, Lidar, and radar were all working properly on the semi-autonomous Volvo SUV as it was driving at normal speed on a highway in Tempe on the night of March 18. But the system did not react when it detected a woman walking across the highway since it was programmed to treat passing objects on the road such as plastic bags as'false positives' that ought to be ignored, according to the results of Uber's preliminary probe. Uber's self-driving technology software detected a woman as she was crossing the street with her bicycle in Arizona in March but failed to react immediately before she was fatally hit by an autonomous vehicle, according to the results of an internal investigation The Volvo SUV was in self-driving mode with a human back-up operator behind the wheel when a woman walking a bicycle was hit. Elaine Herzberg, 49, died in hospital.


Self-driving Uber that killed pedestrian reportedly didn’t realize she was human

Mashable

The 49-year-old woman struck and killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona earlier this year was detected by the autonomous vehicle's sensors, but the car didn't avoid her due to an improper software setting, according to a Monday report from the Information. Elaine Herzberg was hit on a March night while walking a bicycle across a main thoroughfare. The Uber vehicle with an operator in the front seat was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash. "Two people briefed about the matter" told the Information that the software in the car detected the woman, but there was a problem with how the software decides how to react to objects. The Information says the software is able to decide if an object is a "false positive," like debris or trash that it doesn't need to react to.


Uber's self-driving cars are back, just barely

Mashable

Instead of a loud, triumphant return, Uber's self-driving cars made it back on the road in the most humble, modest way on Thursday. Nine months after one of Uber's autonomous vehicle struck and killed a woman outside Phoenix, Arizona, seven of the same Volvo XC90s loaded with sensors and cameras are back in self-driving mode in Pittsburgh. But the self-driving program looks a lot different than it once did. Uber has 200 vehicles in its fleet. The vehicles will only operate during the day on weekdays (and not on holidays).