Earlier this week, The Goldwater reported on the first death attributed to a self-driving car which occurred Monday in Arizona. Now, Tempe Police have released dash camera footage showing the deadly crash.
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The dash cam footage is difficult to watch as you know the inevitable outcome. The driver, or person responsible for the vehicle, can be seen looking down at what seems to be a cell phone and only looks up to check the road ahead periodically. In the moments leading up to the crash, the driver's expression quickly changes to shock as the impact occurs.
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An additional camera angle shows the moment of impact from a forward-looking perspective and a person can be seen walking their bike across the road. The person was not crossing in a designated crosswalk area and did not appear to react to the oncoming vehicle.
The Volvo XC90 SUV test vehicle was traveling on the dimly lit road when it struck 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. According to Tempe Police, the vehicle was traveling at 38 mph when the impact occurred and the posted speed limit is 35 mph. Experts say the technology aboard the test vehicle should have been able to detect Herzberg.
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Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor who studies autonomous vehicles, said, "The victim did not come out of nowhere. She's moving on a dark road, but it's an open road, so lidar (laser) and radar should have detected and classified her" as human.
Sam Ambuelsmaid, an analyst at Navigant Research, also weighed in on the fatal crash saying, "It absolutely should have been able to pick her up. From what I can see in the video, it sure looks like the car is at fault, not the pedestrian."
Tempe Police issued a statement saying they "will address the operating condition of the vehicle, driver interaction with the vehicle, and opportunities for the vehicle or driver to detect the pedestrian that was struck."
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