TEMPE, Ariz. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities investigating a deadly self-driving vehicle crash in suburban Phoenix have released video of the Uber SUV striking a pedestrian as she walked her bicycle across a darkened street.
The video released Wednesday by Tempe police shows 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg walking onto the roadway from a darkened area and stopping the moment before she was struck.
The SUV’s lights didn’t illuminate the woman until a second or two before impact, raising questions about whether the vehicle could have stopped in time.
Video from inside the Uber shows the safety driver, 44-year-old Rafaela Vasquez, behind the wheel. The vehicle was in autonomous mode with Vasquez there to take over the controls in case of emergency but she appears to be distracted.
She’s seen glancing up just as Herzberg is hit. No charges have been filed but the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. Police in Tempe say it appears neither Vasquez nor the victim was impaired during the incident.
The crash Sunday night was the first death involving a full autonomous test vehicle. The Volvo was in self-driving mode with a human backup driver at the wheel when it struck Herzberg, police said.
Uber immediately suspended all road-testing of such autos in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.
The NTSB, which makes recommendations for preventing crashes, is investigating the crash.
“The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones,” said Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun. “Our cars remain grounded, and we’re assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)