The trial of Rafaela Vasquez, who was still distracted in the autonomous Uber that mortally hit Elaine Herzberg in 2018, is scheduled for February 2021. Authorities concluded that the accident involved human error.
The safety driver of the Uber autonomous car who, in March 2018, mortally ran over a 49-year-old American woman is accused of negligent homicide, BBC.
Elaine Herzberg was riding a bicycle when she was hit by the vehicle in the city of Tempe, Arizona. The authorities concluded that, at the time of the accident, Rafaela Vasquez, the car’s safety driver, was watching an episode of the television program “The Voice” on his cell phone.
Even so, Rafaela pleaded not guilty and was free to await trial. Uber will not face any charges after a 2019 ruling that there was no “basis for criminal liability” for the company.
During the investigations, the police and the United States National Transportation Safety Council concluded that there was a human error in the accident. Since she was in the driver’s seat, Rafaela Vasquez could have taken control of the vehicle in an emergency situation.
Images released by the police show the driver looking down for several seconds, immediately before being hit, when the car was going at 63 km / h. In fact, a 2018 report from the authorities describes the collision as “perfectly avoidable” if the driver were looking at the road.
Accused on August 27, Rafaela made her first appearance in court on Tuesday, September 15. The trial is scheduled for February 2021.