Uber driver streaming "The Voice" just before crash


But Uber always requires that self-driving vehicles have backup drivers on hand in case the autonomous system fails.

The crash killed Elaine Herzberg, a 49-year-old woman who was walking across the street when she was hit by the self-driving auto. The report, as quoted by AZCentral, said: "Sometimes, her face appears to react and show a smirk or laugh at various points during the times that she is looking down".

According to Gizmodo, police sent search warrants to YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu looking for Vasquez's account usage around the time of the crash. Uber also had a program in place to allow safety drivers to report their colleagues for risky behavior. Also released was the 911 call made by the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, 44, after the crash.

Elaine Herzberg, 49, died March 18 around 10 p.m. when the Volvo XC90, in autonomous mode with Vasquez behind the wheel, struck her on Mill Avenue near Curry Road.

Tempe police have referred the case to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for possible charges.

In a span of 11.8 miles behind the wheel, Vasquez is said to have looked down 204 times toward her right knee and that in those 22 minutes she had her head down for almost 7 minutes.

Police submitted their findings to county prosecutors, who will determine what charges will be pressed.

Uber shuttered its autonomous vehicle testing programme in Arizona after the incident, and says it plans to begin testing elsewhere this summer, although in some cities it will have to first win over increasingly wary regulators.

Cristina Perez Hesano, a lawyer for Herzberg's daughter and husband, and Pat McGroder, an attorney representing Herzberg's mother, father and son, declined to comment on the police report.

"When using the built-in timer on the video player and moving the video frame by frame, the video player shows that her eyes were averted from the roadway for 4.2 seconds".

Because she was so distracted, Vasquez missed the chance to see Herzberg and take evasive action, investigators concluded. Authorites are investigating the cause of the crash.

But here's the thing: even if Vasquez wasn't watching The Voice, police documents also clearly show that Uber's safety procedures were insufficient.

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

The incident - which grounded Uber's self-driving auto fleet as the company began an investigation into the safety of its vehicles - was "entirely avoidable" law enforcement have suggested.

Hulu provided detectives with Vasquez's "subscription ID, IP Address, Source ID, Device and Internet Service Provider that was streaming the videos", according to the report, suggesting it would know where the device was when it was streaming The Voice, although this information is redacted in the version of the report obtained by Quartz. "We plan to share more on the changes we'll make to our programme soon".