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Uber driver in first-ever deadly self-driving crash pleads guilty

Uber self-driving crash screen cap
Image: ABC 15

The backup driver in the self-driving Uber vehicle that killed a 49-year-old woman in Tempe, Arizona, in 2018 pled guilty to one count of endangerment and was sentenced to three years’ probation on Friday.

Rafaela Vasquez worked as a safety driver for Uber’s autonomous vehicle test program in Arizona. She was behind the steering wheel when her vehicle ran over Elaine Herzberg, who was pushing a bicycle across the street. The crash, which happened on March 18th, 2018, is believed to be the first fatal collision involving a self-driving car.

Prosecutors described Vasquez as “the eyes and ears” of the vehicle, which was operating in autonomous mode at the time of the collision, according to the Arizona Republic. Police alleged that she…

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