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Police: Operator in Self-Driving Uber Crash Was Streaming 'The Voice' WSJD - Technology

"This crash would not have occurred if Vasquez would have been monitoring the vehicle and roadway conditions and was not distracted," the Tempe, Ariz., police report said. The police report said Ms. Vasquez could face vehicular manslaughter charges. Tempe police have referred the case to the Yavapai County attorney's office, where a spokeswoman said the matter is under review. Uber said in a statement it has a "a strict policy prohibiting mobile device usage for anyone operating our self-driving vehicles." Ms. Vasquez, who no longer works for Uber, couldn't be reached for comment.

Driver in fatal self-driving Uber crash was reportedly watching 'The Voice'

FOX News

Raw video: Cameras mounted inside the car catches the fatal moment. Authorites are investigating the cause of the crash. A police report released Thursday on the deadly self-driving Uber accident in March reportedly revealed that the female backup driver had been watching "The Voice" prior to the crash. The report from police in Tempe, Arizona, indicated that the crash could have been prevented had the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, not been watching the show, The Associated Press reported. Elaine Herzberg, 49, was killed in the March 18 crash - believed to be the first of its kind - after being struck by the autonomous vehicle while walking outside of the crosswalk, authorities said at the time.

NTSB's preliminary report on Uber crash focuses on emergency braking


Today, the NTSB released preliminary findings for an accident back in March, in which a self-driving Uber vehicle collided with a pedestrian. "At 1.3 seconds before impact, the self-driving system determined that emergency braking was needed to mitigate a collision," the release says. "According to Uber emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior. The vehicle operator is relied on to intervene and take action. The system is not designed to alert the operator."

Uber crash reportedly caused by software that ignored objects in road


Uber has reportedly discovered that the fatal crash involving one of its prototype self-driving cars was probably caused by software faultily set up to ignore objects in the road, sources told The Information. The autonomous programming detects items around the vehicle and operators fine-tune its sensitivity to make sure it only reacts to true threats (solid objects instead of bags, for example). Unfortunately, the car's software was supposedly set too far in the other direction, and didn't stop in time to avoid hitting bicyclist Elaine Herzberg. There was a human driver behind the wheel, but they reportedly took their eyes off the road in the seconds leading up to the crash. Uber settled with the family of the victim, but the resulting panic caused the Arizona governor to halt all testing, and other companies voluntarily delayed their own testing until the dust settled.

Top robotics expert on Uber crash questions whether sensors worked

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

An Uber Technologies self-driving test vehicle like the one that hit a pedestrian in Arizona on Sunday night. SAN FRANCISCO -- One of the country's top self-driving car experts says that a recently released dashcam video suggests a failure of technology is at issue in the fatal Uber self-driving car incident that killed an Arizona woman. "The car's LiDAR (light ranging and detection laser system) should have picked the pedestrian up far before it hit her," says Raj Rajkumar, who leads the autonomous vehicle research team at Carnegie Mellon University. "Clearly there's a problem, because the radar also should have picked her up throughout, she was moving," he says. "Maybe it's the sensors not working correctly or the hardware that processes it, or the software."

Dashcam video of deadly self-driving Uber crash released

FOX News

Raw video: Cameras mounted inside the car catches the fatal moment. Authorites are investigating the cause of the crash. Dashcam video was released Wednesday night showing the dramatic and deadly crash of a self-driving Uber SUV in Arizona -- as the woman operating the vehicle had her head down. Two angles -- interior and exterior camera footage -- were released by the Tempe Police Department. Officials did not release the moment the pedestrian, identified as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was hit, "due to the graphic nature of the impact."

Uber Crash in Arizona Kills Woman in First Pedestrian Death Caused by a Self-Driving Car


Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. A self-driving Uber car struck and killed a pedestrian early Monday morning in Tempe, Arizona, marking the first pedestrian fatality of the self-driving car era in the United States. The woman, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, died at the hospital of her injuries. The vehicle was in autonomous mode, Tempe police told a local ABC affiliate, and an operator--capable of taking control of the car at any moment--was behind the wheel. "Our hearts go out to the victim's family," Uber said in a statement.