Home » World

Uber driver 'distracted' by streaming 'The Voice' in fatal crash

25 June, 2018, 07:40 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Elaine Herzberg was wheeling her bike across the road when she was hit by the Volvo which was being driven by Rafaela Vasquez

The safety driver in Uber's autonomous vehicle that killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona earlier this year was watching Hulu on her phone right up to the crash, local police claim.

In it, police point to evidence suggesting the human safety driver, Rafaela Vasquez, had been distracted by streaming video on her phone.

Forty-nine-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck as she walked across a darkened street in the middle of a block. The self-driving system first classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, then as a vehicle and then as a bicycle.

The report says Vasquez initially told police she had her hands "hovering" in front of the steering wheel preparing to take over control of the vehicle.

In it, Vasquez can clearly be seen looking down at something just before impact. The report said that she looked down 166 times while the vehicle was in motion, frequently looking in the direction of her right knee.

The Uber auto was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash, but the company, like other self-driving vehicle developers, requires a back-up driver inside to intervene when the autonomous system fails or a tricky driving situation occurs. The vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time of the collision. But the system is not created to alert the driver.

While the report reveals the actions of the safety driver, questions are still swirling around Uber's self-driving technology system in the modified Volvo XC90.

Ms Herzberg, who had been walking her bike, died from her injuries in hospital.

Novak Djokovic eases into Queen's Club semi-finals
Mannarino resisted a handful of break points in the eighth game, but was finally bowed, and then Djokovic broke again. I have plenty of time to make couple more wins. "Hopefully, " said Cilic of a potential double grass-court triumph.

This image made from video Sunday, March 18, 2018, of a mounted camera provided by the Tempe Police Department shows an exterior view moments before an Uber SUV hit a woman in Tempe, Ariz.

"The vehicle was in auto-drive", Vasquez, 44, said. She claims she didn't see Herzberg until impact. "I know I hit her". She was looking down for 5.2 of the final 5.7 seconds prior to the crash, the report says. Once they tracked her down, investigators obtained search warrants for her two cell phones.

The Tempe police report said that during the drive, Vasquez "appears to react and show a smirk or laugh at various points during the times that she is looking down". According to the report, she watched for about 42 minutes, ending at 9:59 p.m., which "coincides with the approximate time of the collision". Of the almost 22 minutes that elapsed during that distance, Vasquez was looking down for 6 minutes and 47 seconds.

The crash occurred about 10 p.m.

Uber immediately halted public testing of its self-driving vehicles following the crash. Her "disregard for assigned job function to intervene in a hazardous situation" contributed to the crash, the newspaper reported.

"We continue to cooperate fully with ongoing investigations while conducting our own internal safety review". The company prohibits the use of any mobile device by safety drivers while the self-driving cars are on a public road, and drivers are told they can be fired for violating this rule. "We plan to share more on the changes we'll make to our programme soon".

Earlier this year, Uber said it employs about 400 human safety drivers like Vasquez across various cities.

Recommended:



Popular

Mo Salah considering quitting Egypt national team
Kadyrov posed with Salah and Hany Abo Ride, chairman of Egypt's football federation for pictures. Salah had a disagreement with the EFA in April over his image rights.

Honda hits late Japan leveller to blow World Cup group wide open
England now faces Panama, which is playing in its first-ever World Cup and looked overmatched in a 3-0 opening loss to Belgium. Poland defender Bartosz Bereszynski warned: "We know very well what is this game about, but we are optimists".

Uruguay beat Saudi Arabia 1-0, progress into last-16
This World Cup has summed up Suarez - a striker who scores enough goals to hide his shortcomings in finishing. It is set to face Luis Suarez's Uruguay on Wednesday before concluding group play next week against Egypt .

Theresa May: Trump separation of migrant families is 'wrong'
She, however, defended Trump's July visit saying Britain had a "long and enduring special relationship" with the US. He said her answer was "disappointing" and 'we should all be unreservedly condemning the actions of Donald Trump '.

Serbia vs. Switzerland - Football Match Report
You can see what I did, and it's just emotion, and I'm just happy to have scored the goal. "I think that Mr. Petkovic is from Sarajevo". "It's clear that emotions surface".

‘Musa’s done more than Messi’ - Nigeria goal hero hands Argentina lifeline
Iceland's final group stage match is against Croatia on Tuesday, June 26 at 20:00 SA time. Musa is now the first Nigerian player to score a brace in two FIFA World Cup matches.

Trump Announces Executive Order On Family Separations
If those options are exhausted, authorities must find the "least restrictive" setting for the child who arrived without parents. Trump's decision came after sustained bipartisan criticism, including from former first ladies who spoke out Monday.

OPEC agrees to increase oil output to avoid deficit
Saudi Arabia urges OPEC to help consumers by boosting oil supply as opposition from arch-rival Iran shows signs of wavering. Output has also plummeted in Libya, where fighting between rival factions has damaged key oil infrastructure.

Korea-US drills risks weakening N. Korea deterrence
The summer exercise, Ulchi Freedom Guardian , consists mainly of computer simulations to hone joint decision-making and planning. In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman said the suspension of US-South Korean drills was a "positive and constructive move".

Canada just passed a law to legalize marijuana nationwide
Trudeau has strongly hinted that pardons are likely but he has resolutely refused to go down that path before the law is changed. Many of his customers are Canadian tourists who are terrified of trying to bring pot across the border, he said.