Uber driver streaming "The Voice" just before deadly crash

Uber driver was streaming Hulu show before fatal self-driving crash

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A 318-page report filed by the Tempe Police Department refutes driver Rafaela Vasquez's previous statement to federal safety investigators that she wasn't using her mobile devices when the vehicle struck and killed a woman who was crossing the street at night. It was also concluded that Vasquez started watching the talent show just minutes after starting the drive that night.

They obtained records from Hulu - an online service for streaming television shows and movies - which revealed Vasquez's account was playing The Voice for around 42 minutes on the night of the crash.

A previous National Transportation Safety Board report said Herzberg had methamphetamine and marijuana in her system.

Uber requires a backup driver in any of its autonomous vehicles, but said driver is of no use if he or she isn't paying attention to the road.

Uber told the publication that it prohibits drivers from looking down at any device while manning an self-driving vehicle.

During the 22 minutes and 11.8 miles leading up to the moment of impact, Vasquez's eyes were off the road for 6 minutes and 47 seconds, according to a police analysis of video inside the vehicle.

Police initially determined that Vasquez was not impaired after giving her a field test.

"She appears to be looking down at the area near her right knee at various points in the video", the report reads, according to Gizmodo. Video recordings don't show what she's doing with her hands. The company is reviewing internal processes, including its safety driver training practices.

"Um, yes, um, I hit a bicyclist northbound Mill Avenue just south of Curry Road", says Vasquez in the 911 audio.

However, they did observe apps, like Hulu and Netflix on Vasquez's phone.

Last month, an Uber spokeswoman said the company was undergoing a 'top-to-bottom safety review, ' and had brought on a former federal transportation official to help improve the company's safety culture. In May, Uber said it was ending self-driving vehicle testing in Arizona and laying off 300 Uber workers.

The system was disabled while Uber's cars are under computer control, "to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior", the NTSB report said. Even if Vasquez was being fully negligent - and the documents do seem to show that - the details about Uber's self-driving test program that have emerged since the crash show that the company bears at least as much responsibility for the fatality as any safety driver, negligent or not.

Speaking to the tech site, an Uber spokesperson said: "We have a strict policy prohibiting mobile device usage for anyone operating our self-driving vehicles".

Pictures just released from the scene of the crash show Herzberg's bicycle, which she was walking with in the roadway before the crash.

Police say dashcam footage shows that Vasquez "was distracted and looking down" during the almost 22-minute drive that preceded the crash. Tempe police Sgt. Ronald Elcock said that the pedestrian stepped into the street outside of the crosswalk and was immediately struck by the vehicle.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office referred the case to the Yavapai County Attorney's Office after citing a possible conflict of interest.

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