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Police report says Uber's human operator was watching TV at the moment driverless car killed pedestrian

22 Jun 2018

 

A police report has revealed that the safety operator who was behind the wheel of Uber's self-driving vehicle the moment it ploughed into a pedestrian killing her was watching TV.

The fatal collision took place in Arizona back in April when the vehicle failed to stop as 49 year old Elaine Herzberg was crossing the road.

The police report suggests that the operator was streaming an episode of The Voice, a popular talent show, at the time of the collision.

Uber's mandate for testing driverless cars states that a human operator would be paying attention at all times so they can take over in difficult situations or when the vehicle encounters a situation it does not know how to handle.

The police report suggests that this did not happen on this occasion. The report also suggests that the operator could now face charges of vehicle manslaughter.
 

According to a report the BBC  website, County prosecutors received a copy of the police report, which was released on June 21, following a freedom of information request.

The vehicles human operator, a Ms Vasquez, was allegedly watching her phone up until 0.5 seconds before the crash. At that moment the vehicle was traveling at 44mph.

Last month a preliminary investigation into the crash stated that the car failed to identify the victim as a pedestrian and took no action to avoid hitting her nor did it perform an emergency stop.  

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