Tempe Police released the video of the Uber's self-driving car crash that killed a 49-year-old woman. This is the first self-driving car crash that killed a pedestrian. Despite having a person behind the wheel, the car failed to stop in time to avoid the collision.
Two videos have been released of the incident.
First Pedestrian Death
Tempe Police do not show the graphic portion of the video detailing the death of Elaine Hezberg on March 18. The first video of the crash that was released shows the outside of the car. It is a four-second video showing the car driving at night on a mostly empty street. Hezberg enters the picture, but the car fails to slow down and runs right into her.
Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit is actively investigating
the details of this incident that occurred on March 18th. We will provide updated information regarding the investigation once it is available. pic.twitter.com/2dVP72TziQ — Tempe Police (@TempePolice) March 21, 2018
There was also footage released from the inside of the car during the crash. A 14-second video shows that the person behind the wheel is Rafaela Vasquez. As the car is driving along the road, she can be seen alternating between watching the road and something inside of the car. Her reaction shows what happened moments before Hezberg was hit by the car.
Uber uses it what it calls safety drivers, who are able to take control of the car in case it fails in situations such as this one. Its self-driving cars are supposed to detect anything on the road that the car might hit, such as people, cars, barriers, etc.
The local police chief, Sylvia Moir, thinks that Uber may not be at fault for the death of Hezberg. Self-driving car technology has been pushed by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, and some people believe that Uber could be held liable for the death under new rules by Ducey.
Uber Halts Program
Though the self-driving cars are already being tested on the street in various cities across the U.S., Uber has suspended the program. Uber has not commented on what caused the crash that took the life of Hezberg.
In a statement released on March 21, Uber says that it is working with local, state, and federal authorities to investigate what happened during the crash. Uber also refers to the car crash as disturbing and heartbreaking in the statement. It confirms that the self-driving car program is currently suspended due to the crash. It mentions Hezberg by the first name only.
Toyota also suspended its self-driving car program so that staff could process the death of Hezberg.