Sep 16, 2020

Uber's self-driving operator charged over fatal crash

The back-up driver of an Uber self-driving car that killed a pedestrian has been charged with negligent homicide. Investigators said the car's safety driver, Rafael Vasquez, had been streaming an episode of the television show The Voice at the time. Dash-cam footage released by police showed Ms Vasquez looking down, away from the road, for several seconds immediately before the crash, while the car was travelling at 39mph. As long as "Self-driving" cars still need a human safety driver behind the wheel, there will be confusion about whose fault it is when something goes wrong - but going fully autonomous is such a huge leap that even the boldest tech firm is likely to be very cautious about going first. Following the crash, authorities in Arizona suspended Uber's ability to test self-driving cars on the state's public roads, and Uber ended its tests in the state.

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