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Video shows moments before Uber self-driving car hits pedestrian

Video shows moments before Uber self-driving car hits pedestrian
By Emily CommanderAlice Cuddy with AP
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Footage of the fatal crash in Arizona shows how the Uber vehicle failed to slow down as a 49-year-old woman walked her bike across the street.


Video has been released of the moments before an Uber self-driving vehicle fatally hit a 49-year-old woman walking her bike across the street in Arizona.

The lights on the SUV didn't illuminate Elaine Herzberg until a second or two before impact on Sunday night, raising questions about whether the vehicle could have stopped in time.

The video, released by police, shows the vehicle's human back-up driver looking down until seconds before the crash, when he looks up and appears startled at the sight of the pedestrian.

The video was released a day after Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir told a newspaper that the SUV likely would not be found at fault.

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Moir saying that it would have been difficult to avoid the collision.

The crash in the city of Tempe marked the first time an autonomous vehicle killed a pedestrian. 

Uber has suspended all road-testing of such vehicles in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which makes recommendations for preventing crashes, is investigating the crash.

Tempe police have identified the driver as 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez.

Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun said Vasquez met the company's vetting requirements.

The company said it is fully cooperating with the police investigation into the crash.

"Our hearts go out to the victim’s family," it said on Twitter.

Update: This story has been updated to clarify it's the first time an autonomous vehicle killed a pedestrian.

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