Backup driver in fatal Arizona Uber autonomous crash charged | Business News

The Uber system detected Herzberg 5.6 seconds before the crash. But it but failed to determine whether she was a bicyclist, pedestrian or unknown object, or that she was headed into the vehicle’s path, the board said.

The death reverberated throughout the auto industry and Silicon Valley and forced other companies to slow what had been a fast march toward autonomous ride-hailing services on public roads.

Uber pulled its self-driving cars out of Arizona the day before the NTSB issued a preliminary report on the crash, eliminating the jobs of about 300 people who served as backup drivers and performed other jobs connected to the vehicles.

Gov. Doug Ducey prohibited Uber from continuing its tests of self-driving cars after Herzberg was run over.

A toxicology report showed that Herzberg tested positive for methamphetamine.

Vasquez had previously spent more than four years in prison for two felony convictions — making false statements when obtaining unemployment benefits and attempted armed robbery — before starting work as an Uber driver, according to court records.

Vasquez’s first name was listed on a driver’s license as Rafael, but police say Vasquez identifies as a woman and goes by the first name of Rafaela.

The decision not to criminally charge Uber in Herzberg’s death was made by Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, whose officer handled the case after the prosecutor’s office in metro Phoenix cited a potential conflict of interest for having previously participated in a public-safety campaign with Uber.

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