Uber Safety Driver in Fatal Self-Driving Car Crash Charged With Negligent Homicide

Dashcam footage taken moments before Elaine Herzberg was struck by the self-driving car.

Dashcam footage taken moments before Elaine Herzberg was struck by the self-driving car.
Screenshot: Tempe Police Department

The human driver meant to act as a fail-safe for an autonomous Uber car that struck and killed a Tempe, Arizona woman has been charged with neglicgent homicide by local authorities, the Associated Press reports. The 2018 crash was the first recorded case of a pedestrian being killed by a self-driving car.

Phoenix officials formally charged Rafaela Vasquez with the negligent homicide of Elaine Herzberg, the 49-year old Tempe resident who was killed while walking her bike across the Mill Avenue. The car in question—which was traveling within the speed limit of 45 mph at the time of the crash—was operating in autonomous mode with Vasquez acting as a safety operator while Uber trialed the new technology within Tempe. No additional passengers were on board.

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