Arizona police release video of fatal collision with Uber self-driving SUV

Video taken from onboard cameras in a fatal self-driving vehicle crash in Arizona Sunday night shows the operator did not have her eyes on the road and the pedestrian was visible for at least a second.

Uber said Monday that it was pausing tests of all its self-driving vehicles on public roads in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto and the greater Phoenix area.

Experts told CNN that video released by the police department - which included both internal and external camera views - appears to show the autonomous technology fell short of how it should be created to perform.

"Our cars remain grounded, and we're assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can", the statement added.

Police have released few details about the accident that occurred on Sunday night in Tempe, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, while the SUV was driving in autonomous mode.

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The cyclist, Elaine Herzberg, died following the incident.

Both the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the tragic collision.

This is the first known pedestrian death to involve an autonomous vehicle. However, the video footage shows her looking down just before the accident, and though it's not certain that she could have done anything to prevent the collision, the fact that she was not focused on the road makes impossible to know.

It is unclear why the lidar sensor, which is functional in the dark, failed to detect Elaine, who was casually walking across the road.

"She was already out in the road for several seconds", Abuelsamid said. Proposals also are pending in Congress, including one that would stop states from regulating autonomous vehicles, Smith said.

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"The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them", Moir told the publication. So says Marta Thoma Hall, president of the company that supplied the car's lidar sensors, Velodyne Lidar Inc., reports Bloomberg. However, the video has begun to raise questions on the over all safety of self-driving auto technology.

"It absolutely should have been able to pick her up", said Sam Abuelsmaid, an analyst for Navigant Research who follows autonomous vehicles.

"There should be a criminal case", she said. But what about the human driver?

"The problem of complacent safety drivers is going to be a problem for every company". The tragic incident could slow down adoption of the technology, but one expert says the proven safety record of self-driving cars has to be considered before cities turn away from implementing them all together.

Until questions are answered about why the sensors in the vehicle didn't "see" the woman and her bicycle, Uber is suspending the operation of its driverless vehicles.

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Toyota said it would continue its tests of semi-autonomous cars on closed circuits. "This video does not absolve Uber".


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