Uber driver streaming 'The Voice' just before fatal Ariz. crash

Uber driver streaming 'The Voice' just before fatal Ariz. crash

Uber driver streaming 'The Voice' just before fatal Ariz. crash

The "safety" driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber that hit and killed a pedestrian was streaming the television show The Voice on her phone at the time of the crash, police have said.

This information comes from a massive release of reports, photos and 911 calls from the Tempe Police Department, the Arizona Republic reports. Well, it turns out that the backup driver was distracted as she repeatedly looked down to her smartphone which was streaming an American talent show on Hulu in the run-up to the deadly collision.

The accident occurred March 18 at about 10 p.m. when an Uber self-driving vehicle struck 49-year-old pedestrian Herzberg on Mill Avenue, just south of Curry Road, according to the Tempe Police Department. Herzberg was not walking in a designated crosswalk. Uber's self-driving Volvo SUV was travelling at just under 44 miles (71 km) per hour.

Tempe police have submitted the report to county prosecutors, who will determine whether to press charges against Vasquez, says Sky News. She stopped watching at 9:59 pm, which the report says "coincides with the approximate time of the collision".

We've seen this before - drivers using semi-autonomous or almost autonomous features in cars start looking away from the road, going on their phones, and watching much more entertaining things like TV shows and movies.

Uber said it is cooperating with ongoing investigations and conducting its own internal safety review. Instead, Uber relied on its drivers "to intervene and take action" even though its system doesn't sound a visual or audible alert.

Tempe police released photographs from the pedestrian death involving an Uber self-driving vehicle.

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey later suspended Uber from testing its self-driving cars in Arizona.

The crash dealt Uber a major setback in its efforts to develop self-driving cars, and the company ended its autonomous auto testing programme in Arizona after the incident. They found no signs that she'd been texting, or talking with anyone, but they did notice three video apps one on of her phones that could've been drawing her attention-Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu.

Uber originally launched its self-driving cars onto the streets of Pittsburgh back in September 2016.

During nine video segments obtained from the vehicle's dashcam, Vasquez looked down 204 times. She confirmed that she was looking away from the road, but told federal investigators that she was still monitoring the car's self-driving functions. "We plan to share more on the changes we'll make to our program soon". Uber also said it brought in former transportation safety board chairman Christopher Hart to advise the company on safety. Uber declined to comment.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery had the case transferred to the Yavapai County Attorney's Office to avoid any conflicts of interest.

An officer who identifies himself as supervisor of the unit that investigates fatal crashes is seen asking a man who appears to be an Uber supervisor about getting video from the SUV and whether Uber's lawyers have been contacted.

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