TEMPE, AZ (CBSMiami) – New video released of a deadly accident involving a self-driving Uber SUV shows it happened in about a second.
The accident happened last Sunday night, it’s the first death involving an autonomous vehicle.
The vehicle’s onboard cameras show it was going approximately 38 miles per hour in autonomous mode, a safety driver in case of emergency appeared to be occasionally looking away from the road before the accident.
And then it happened.
Elaine Herzberg, 49, jaywalking with her bicycle, is only visible to the human eye for a moment before she was struck and killed.
Tempe police said early indications from the investigation are that the accident may not have been avoidable because Herzberg appeared to have walked directly into the SUVs path.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash wants to know if the vehicle’s sensors and other technology should have detected Herzberg sooner than a human.
In 2016, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey declared the state open for self-driving business with little regulation.
“What they need to do is prove that this technology works, and if customers can’t trust that their cars are safe then they are not going to want to get in those cars,” said Tim Stevens, Editor in Chief of CNET’s Road Show.
“If you or I go to get our drivers license, we have to pass an eye exam and show some basic understanding of the rules of the road. There are no tests like that for autonomous cars in existence right now and maybe that’s something that should come out of an incident like this,” he said.
Federal legislation on self-driving cars is stalled in Congress, leaving the rules up to the states. Currently, at least 32 cities are testing or plan to start. Stevens said the industry is worried about the impact of additional regulation and oversight.
“More requirements for testing for these vehicles that could slow this testing back quite a bit and that could ultimately push this technology back by years,” he said.
Uber has expressed its condolences to Herzberg’s family and says it will cooperate with the ongoing investigations. It has also suspended self-driving cars in all cities in which they were operating.
Experts believe self-driving cars will make the roads safer. Ninety-four percent of all accidents are blamed on human error.