Graphic: Police Release Uber Pedestrian Crash On-Board Video

Tempe, Arizona police published on their Twitter account on Wednesday the first images from the scene of a crash that occurred on March 18. The event marked the first pedestrian fatality following a crash involving a self-driving vehicle.
Moments before the fatal crash in Tempe 1 photo
Photo: Twitter/@tempepolice
Initial information released soon after the incident pointed to the fact that the autonomous Volvo XC90, operated by Uber, might not be at fault for the incident, which occurred in the middle of the night at the intersection of Mill Avenue and Curry Road in Tempe.

It would seem those initial findings are confirmed by the videos shot with the on-board cameras of the SUV that night. The car’s cameras filmed at the time both outside and inside the car.

The footage from outside the car shows how the 49-year old victim appear out of nowhere in the middle of the road, pushing a bicycle. There’s seems to be no attempt made by the vehicle to stop.

The interior view shows the human driver, present in the car at the time of the crash, as required by regulations. The 44-year old woman behind the wheel seems not to be paying attention to the road but keeps looking down at something.

A split second before the crash occurs, the driver looks up and seems to be trying to grab the wheel, but it’s too late.

According to initial findings, the SUV was driving in autonomous mode at 38 mph in a 35 mph zone.

“Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit is actively investigating the details of this incident that occurred on March 18th,” said the police department in a comment accompanying the video.

“We will provide updated information regarding the investigation once it is available.”

Uber’s self-driving cars are still grounded pending investigation, despite mounting evidence that it was little the car’s systems could have done to avoid the collision.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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