A pedestrian was killed in a collision in 2018; The NTSB found that the driver was distracted by the cell phone. A backup Uber driver involved in the death of a previously autonomous vehicle has been charged with negligence in a Phoenix suburb distracted moments before a woman was injured.
Maricopa County Prosecutor’s Office Alister Adele said on Tuesday that Rafaela Vazquez suffered a count in the 2018 plane crash in Tempe that killed 49-year-old Ellen Herzberg. He is not guilty.
In March 2019, the prosecution refused to file criminal charges against Uber, as a company, in Herzberg’s death.
45-year-old Vesquez told investigators that he had not used his cellphone before the accident. It was not immediately known whether Vasquez had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.
But the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Vesquez’s failure to monitor the road while watching the TV show “The Voice” on his phone was the main cause of the accident.
Contributing factors cited by the board included Uber’s inadequate safety measures and ineffective supervision of its drivers, Herzberg’s decision to cross the road outside the pedestrian lane and inadequate inspections from the Arizona Department of Transportation for autonomous vehicle testing.
The board also concluded that disabling Uber’s automatic emergency braking system increased the risks associated with testing motorized vehicles on public roads. Instead of the system, Uber relied on human backup driver software to intervene.
Discover the Uber Herzberg system in 5.6 seconds before the crash. But it failed to determine whether he was a cyclist, pedestrian, or something unknown, or was going to the car lane, the council said.
The death reprinted the entire auto industry and throughout Silicon Valley and forced other companies to slow what was a swift march toward autonomous ride services on public roads.
Uber UBER, -1.26% removed their self-driving cars from Arizona the day before the NTSB released the initial accident report, which resulted in the job being canceled by about 300 people who worked as backup drivers and Other vehicle-related jobs were performed.
Governor Doug Dossey Barred Uber stopped Herzberg from continuing his self-driving car tests after driving.
The toxicology report revealed that Herzberg tested positive for methamphetamine.
According to court records, before starting work as an Uber driver, Vesquez spent more than four years in prison on the first two criminal convicts, making false statements on receiving unemployment benefits and attempting armed robbery.
Vesquez’s first name is listed in the driver’s license as Rafael, but police say Vasquez is aware that she is a woman and her maiden name is Rafaella.
The decision not to criminally indict Uber in Herzberg’s death was made by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, and the officer took over the case when the Metro Phoenix District Attorney’s Office participated in a public safety campaign with Uber Indicated a possible conflict of interests for.
The case was remanded to a government attorney in Metro Phoenix after Uber decided not to end the conflict of interest.