Safety driver involved in fatal self-driving Uber crash was watching Hulu

Uber driver was streaming Hulu show before fatal self-driving crash

Modal Trigger AP

A log of Vasquez's account provided by the video-streaming service Hulu, under a search warrant, showed "The Voice" was streaming on her account in the final 43 minutes of the drive, and that the streaming ended at 9:59 p.m., the approximate time of the collision, the police report says.

At the time she was known as Rafael and identified as male. The case is in the hands of the Yavapai County Attorney's Office for review after the Maricopa County Attorney's Office referred the case because of a conflict. Friedman said. "Uber, Waymo and all other companies developing self-driving cars need a much better approach than requiring a single driver to effectively watch paint dry".

Last month, the Uber spokeswoman said the company was undergoing a "top-to-bottom safety review", and had brought on a former USA federal transportation official to help improve its safety culture.

"In a postcrash interview with NTSB investigators, the vehicle operator stated that she had been monitoring the self-driving system interface", a recent NTSB report said.

Rafaela Vasquez, the human driver behind the wheel of the self-driving Volvo XC90, was streaming "The Voice" via the Hulu app on her smartphone in the moments before the fatal crash.

Vasquez looked down at her lap for 5.3 seconds prior to the crash, then looked up less than a second before her auto struck Herzberg.

Piecing together the NTSB's timeline with data released by Hulu reveals that Vasquez had been streaming Hulu for all but three minutes of her 45-minute drive in a Volvo XC90 crossover SUV fitted with Uber's prototype self-driving vehicle technology.

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A spokesperson for Uber said the company continues to cooperate fully with ongoing investigations while conducting our own internal safety review, adding that Uber policy prohibits mobile device usage for anyone operating its self-driving vehicles.

"The report states data obtained from the self-driving system shows the system first registered radar and LIDAR observations of the pedestrian about six seconds before impact, when the vehicle was traveling 43 miles per hour", the NTSB's report on the crash reads.

A report from the Tempe, Ariz., police obtained by Reuters through a Freedom of Information Act request described the crash as "entirely avoidable". "We plan to share more on the changes we'll make to our program soon", the statement said.

The Tempe Police Department is potentially seeking to file manslaughter charges against Vasquez.

"The vehicle was in auto-drive", she said to the officer. The vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time of the collision.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators examining the Volvo that was involved in the crash. She claims she didn't see Herzberg until impact. "We want to make sure that we're doing not only what we normally do and not doing anything different, but also making sure that everything's above board and everything's out in the open". "I hope that you guys do the same because we're going to be working together throughout this whole process from now, probably for months from now".

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