Technology

Uber backup driver charged in fatal 2018 self-driving car crash

The backup security driver who was behind the wheel when one among Uber’s self-driving vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in 2018 has been charged with negligent murder, the New York Times reports. Rafaela Vasquez, who investigators say was watching an episode of The Voice on the time of the crash, has pleaded not responsible.

The crash, which occurred on March 18th, 2018 and resulted in the dying of Elaine Herzberg, is believed to be the primary fatal collision involving a self-driving car. Investigators have mentioned the car noticed Herzberg, however did not automatically stop, and that Vasquez didn’t brake till it was too late. The case has raised necessary questions on safely check the brand new know-how, and who ought to be held accountable when one thing goes unsuitable.

In March 2019, an Arizona prosecutor’s workplace dominated that Uber would not face criminal charges over the crash. However, a evaluate by the National Transportation Safety Board later that year highlighted a variety of issues of safety on the firm. It mentioned that it had “inadequate safety risk assessment procedures,” “ineffective” monitoring of backup drivers, and a failure to handle the “automation complacency” of its security drivers, who wanted to have the ability to step in at any second to handle issues.

The similar evaluate additionally known as Arizona’s insurance policies to control self-driving autos on its public roads “insufficient,” and advised that Herzberg could have crossed the road outdoors of the crosswalk.

Uber temporarily halted its self-driving tests instantly following the crash, and after they resumed later that year in Pittsburgh they did so with way more stringent security insurance policies together with having two security drivers in every car. Uber has subsequently expanded these new checks to extra cities, together with Dallas and San Francisco.

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