Dashcam video of deadly self-driving Uber crash released
Dashcam video was released Wednesday night showing the dramatic and deadly crash of a self-driving Uber SUV in Arizona — as the woman operating the vehicle had her head down.
Two angles — interior and exterior camera footage — were released by the Tempe Police Department.
Officials did not release the moment the pedestrian, identified as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was hit, "due to the graphic nature of the impact."
"The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine's loved ones,” Uber said in a statement. “Our cars remain grounded, and we're assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can."
"The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine's loved ones. Our cars remain grounded, and we're assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can."
The interior video shows the car's driver, Rafaela Vasquez, 44, buckled in behind the wheel of the vehicle — which police said was moving around 40 miles per hour in the Phoenix suburb at 10 p.m. Sunday.
AFTER DEADLY UBER CRASH, ARIZONA DOT CONFIRMS NO CHANGES TO SELF-DRIVING CAR RULES
While the Volvo XC90 SUV was in self-driving mode, Vasquez was in the car as a safety driver, who, in the event there was a malfunction or issue, could take control of the vehicle.
In the moments before the car struck Herzberg, Vasquez is seen repeatedly looking down, seemingly toward the console area of the car, until she suddenly looks shocked at the pedestrian in front of her.
Exterior video shows the Uber car driving at night when the vehicle's headlights suddenly illuminate Herzberg, who is walking her bike in the street, outside of any crosswalks.
Paramedics rushed Herzberg to a local hospital, where she died from her injuries.
Experts who viewed the video said the vehicle’s Lidar (laser) and radar, which can see in the dark better than humans or cameras, should have detected Herzberg.
"It absolutely should have been able to pick her up," said Sam Abuelsmaid, an analyst for Navigant Research who follows autonomous vehicles. "From what I see in the video it sure looks like the car is at fault, not the pedestrian."
From what I see in the video it sure looks like the car is at fault, not the pedestrian.
Tempe police Chief Sylvia Moir told the San Francisco Chronicle that it initially appeared Uber wouldn’t be found at fault. But Moir said that if the company was found responsible, she wouldn’t rule out filing charges against the safety driver.
"The safety driver is clearly relying on the fact that the car is driving itself," said Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor who also studies autonomous vehicles. "It's the old adage that if everyone is responsible, no one is responsible."
"This is everything gone wrong that these systems, if responsibly implemented, are supposed to prevent," Smith said.
Police have said neither Herzberg nor Vasquez showed signs of impairment in the crash, and Vasquez has been cooperating in their investigation.
Fox News' Charlie Lapastora, Travis Fedschun and the Associated Press contributed to this report.