Uber self-driving auto rider was a convicted felon

'Disturbing and heartbreaking' footage of fatal self-driving crash released

The driver, identified as 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez, was in the self-driving auto when it fatally hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she crossed an unlit Tempe, Ariz., roadway outside of a crosswalk with her bicycle.

In the months before Herzberg's death, "the cars were having trouble driving through construction zones and next to tall vehicles, like big rigs", according to the New York Times.

While it does not conclusively show who was at fault, the footage does reveal that the driver, 44-year-old Rafaela Vasquez, looked down just moments before the victim walked in front of the vehicle.

After a pedestrian is killed by one of the company's self-driving cars, documents show Uber's autonomous vehicle program might've been struggling.

Waymo, formerly the self-driving auto project of Google, said that in tests on roads in California a year ago, its cars went an average of almost 5,600 miles before the driver had to take control from the computer to steer out of trouble.

"Waymo ... said that in tests on roads in California previous year, its cars went an average of almost 5,600 miles before the driver had to take control from the computer to steer out of trouble", according to the paper.

A driverless Uber auto, which hit and killed a woman in the United States earlier this week, has put the safety of autonomous vehicles under the spotlight, and is prompting reflection in Taiwan as it pushes for smart vehicle development, with local stakeholders agreeing that the new form of transportation should be introduced under a more controlled environment. It may be noted here that back in 2017, Arizona chose to allow testing of these self-driving cars on the public roads.

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"As we develop self-driving technology, safety is our primary concern every step of the way", said Matt Kallman, an Uber spokesman.

It was the first fatality of a self-driving vehicle, and Uber has suspended its testing as the investigation proceeds. After the Tempe crash, Gov. Doug Ducey, who lured the companies to the state with a promise of minimal regulation, warned against jumping to conclusions.

When Khosrowshahi took over as Uber's chief executive, he had considered shutting down the self-driving vehicle operations, according to two other people familiar with Khosrowshahi's thinking.

His group is calling for a national moratorium on the testing of all autonomous vehicles until the cause of the fatal crash is determined. "We continue to assist investigators in any way we can".

The Uber vehicle was in an autonomous mode when the accident happened. They wanted to take him on a ride without human interventions to demonstrate that the cars could handle so-called edge cases, tricky road situations that are hard to predict.

But Uber's autonomous cars are not operating almost as well as those of its competitors.

He noted both the Tempe police and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

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