Uber Self-Driving Crash May Have Been Due To Light Levels

Further investigation into the death of Elaine Herzberg, a woman who was struck and killed by an Uber self-driving vehicle in Tempe in 2018, now has Phoenix Police checking out whether street lighting where the crash occurred may have been a factor.

Business Insider reports that police shut down a stretch of roadway recently to conduct tests after a Volvo self-driving SUV was involved in the accident.

The vehicle used for the test on Tuesday night and the one involved in the fatal crash were both Volvo’s XC90 model SUV.

Even though Tempe Police Department investigators determined that the accident which killed Herzberg was completely avoidable, the Maricopa County Prosecutor’s Office has asked investigators to conduct further investigations.

Their findings will determine whether or not they will pursue charges against the Uber driver, Rafaela Vasquez, for failing to take control of the car in the case of an emergency.

Vasquez had initially told police that she was not on her cellphone at the time of the accident, but dashcam video footage provided by Uber as well as cellphone records indicate that she had been streaming a broadcast of a television show moments before hitting and killing Herzberg.

Prosecutors have decided not to hold Uber responsible in the case.

Maricopa County Prosecutor, Bill Montgomery wants to see more evidence that would confirm the evidence that they already have in the case to determine whether a conviction of Vasquez is likely.

Montgomery’s office believes that had Vasquez not been distracted, she would have seen Herzberg from at least 142 feet away and had adequate time to stop the vehicle.


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