Negligent Homicide Charges Filed In Tempe Self-Driving Uber Death

By Ron Dungan
Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 6:29pm
Updated: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 8:08am

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Self-driving Uber fatal accident
National Transportation Safety Board
NTSB investigators in Tempe examine the self-driving Uber vehicle involved in a fatal accident.

The driver at the helm of an autonomous Uber vehicle has been indicted over a fatal collision in 2018 in Tempe.

Rafaela Vasquez was the backup driver for a self-driving Uber SUV when the vehicle — which was in autonomous mode — struck a 49-year-old woman walking a bicycle across Mill Avenue.

The vehicle was going about 40 miles per hour.

A grand jury has now indicted Vasquez on one count of negligent homicide. She pleaded not guilty and will be released with ankle monitoring.

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board found that a number of factors contributed to the crash, including distracted driving and inadequate oversight of driverless cars.