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Arizona Authorities Release Video from Self-Driving Uber Crash That Killed Pedestrian

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On Sunday night, a self-driving Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona, struck a woman, Elaine Herzberg, who was walking her bicycle across the road. She died after being taken to the hospital. In the few days after the crash, the local police department has been reviewing the video footage and hasn’t released it to the public.

During this time, it was reported by some news outlets that Herzberg suddenly ran into the street, and by more that the police chief, after reviewing the video, thought that the crash would have been difficult to avoid whether it was a human or computer driving.

Now, authorities have released the video from the incident, including one exterior camera view pointed at the road, and one interior view pointed at the driver.

The exterior camera shows that the visibility on the dark street is low, with no road lights in the vicinity. The headlights pick up Herzberg about 1 1/2 to 2 seconds before the collision, prior to which she is invisible to the naked eye.


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In the interior view, the driver is clearly distracted by something on his lap. He is looking down for most of the time prior to the incident, and then shows surprise and horror upon looking up just prior to or during the collision.

The video dispels some of the myths that have sprung up around the collision. In particular, Herzberg can hardly be said to be “suddenly” moving into the road. Instead, she seems to be walking at a normal pace with her bicycle across the street and has almost reached the grass median halfway point.

In the aftermath of this revelation, a lot of issues have been raised. One question people are asking is whether the driver could have avoided the collision if he had been watching the road. In addition, given that this was a self-driving car, one would assume that the car should have been able to detect Herzberg. The main question remains: who exactly is responsible?


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News Source: Jalopnik