Incident 4: Uber AV Killed Pedestrian in Arizona

Description: An Uber autonomous vehicle (AV) in autonomous mode struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.


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Alleged: Uber developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed Elaine Herzberg and pedestrians.

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Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam

CSETv1 Taxonomy Classifications

Taxonomy Details

Harm Distribution Basis


Sector of Deployment

transportation and storage

A self-driving Uber just killed a pedestrian · 2018

A self-driving Uber in Tempe, Arizona, struck and killed a woman at a crosswalk yesterday (March 18), the New York Times reports.

The car was in autonomous mode, but had an Uber safety driver in the driver’s seat. The woman had walked into …

Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, Where Robots Roam · 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — Arizona officials saw opportunity when Uber and other companies began testing driverless cars a few years ago. Promising to keep oversight light, they invited the companies to test their robotic vehicles on the state’s roads…

Uber self-driving car kills pedestrian in Arizona · 2018

James Martin/CNET

A woman was struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona, late Sunday night. This is the first known fatality from an autonomous vehicle accident on a public road.

At the time of the collision, 10…

Self-driving Uber kills Arizona woman in first fatal crash involving pedestrian · 2018

Tempe police said car was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash and that the vehicle hit a woman who later died at a hospital

An autonomous Uber car killed a woman in the street in Arizona, police said, in what appears to be the first…

Uber's driverless-car safety comes under scrutiny after fatality · 2018


Sunday marked a turning point for self-driving cars. For the first time, a car in full autonomous mode struck and killed a pedestrian.

It happened at 10 p.m. in Tempe, Arizona, where ride-hailing company Uber had been picking up passe…

Uber crash shows 'catastrophic failure' of self-driving technology, experts say · 2018

Concerns raised about future testing as footage suggests fatal collision in Arizona was failing of system’s most basic functions

Video of the first self-driving car crash that killed a pedestrian suggests a “catastrophic failure” by Uber’s …

Uber reportedly settles with family of victim in self-driving car crash · 2018

National Transportation Safety Board

Uber has reached a settlement agreement with the family of the woman killed by an autonomous vehicle being tested by the ride-hailing company, according to Reuters.

Cristina Perez Hesano, an attorney wit…

Uber's fatal self-driving crash reportedly caused by software · 2018

James Martin/CNET

Uber has reportedly found that a software problem likely caused a fatal accident involving one of its self-driving cars in Tempe, Arizona in March. That software is meant to determine how the car should react to detected o…

Report: Software bug led to death in Uber’s self-driving crash · 2018

The fatal crash that killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, in March occurred because of a software bug in Uber's self-driving car technology, The Information's Amir Efrati reported on Monday. According to two anonymous source…

Uber self-drives robo-cars out of Arizona after fatal crash · 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- Uber is pulling its self-driving cars out of Arizona. The ride-sharing company's reversal was triggered by the recent death of woman who was run over by one of its robotic vehicles while crossing a darkened street in a Phoe…

Self-Driving Uber Investigation Reveals Handoff Problem · 2018

An interior view of operator Rafaela Vasquez moments before an Uber SUV hit a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in March 2018. Tempe Police Department/AP

The preliminary findings into a fatal crash in Tempe by the National Transportation Safety Boar…

Uber Self-Driving Car Crash: What Really Happened · 2018

Back in March, an Uber self-driving car killed 49-year-old Elain Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, after failing to do an emergency stop. After a US federal investigation, it is thought that the car did not stop because the system put in place to…

The Economist explains · 2018

THEY are one of the most talked-about topics in technology—but lately they have been for all the wrong reasons. A series of accidents involving self-driving cars has raised questions about the safety of these futuristic new vehicles, which …

Safety driver of fatal self-driving Uber crash was reportedly watching Hulu at time of accident · 2018

Police in Tempe, Arizona, have released a new report regarding Uber’s fatal self-driving car crash last March, which reveals that the safety driver Rafaela Vasquez was streaming The Voice on Hulu on her phone at the time of the accident, vi…

Uber Driver in Fatal Tempe Crash May Have Been Watching The Voice Behind the Wheel · 2018

Photo: Tempe Police Department

The crash of an Uber self-driving car that killed an Arizona woman in March was “entirely avoidable,” according to police reports released by the Tempe Police Department. Cellphone data obtained by police sugg…

Uber operator in fatal self-driving vehicle crash was likely streaming 'The Voice' · 2018

The person behind the wheel of the Uber self-driving Volvo SUV that struck and killed a woman in Arizona was likely streaming "The Voice" on a cellphone at the time of the incident.

The Tempe Police Department released a 318-page document l…

Uber driver streamed The Voice before self-driving car crash · 2018

Police in Tempe, Arizona said evidence showed the "safety" driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber was distracted and streaming a television show on her phone right up until about the time of a fatal accident in March, deeming the cr…

Arizona driver in deadly self-driving Uber crash could face charges · 2018

Tempe Police have released new body camera video and the police report from the night of March 19, when a self-driving Uber hit and killed a pedestrian mid-block on Mill Avenue. The backup driver was streaming the TV show "The Voice" before…

Tempe police release report, audio, photo · 2018

Tempe police released photographs from the pedestrian death involving an Uber self-driving car. A 49-year-old woman was hit and killed by a self-driving Volvo operated by Uber while crossing a street in Tempe (Photo: Tempe Police Department…

Uber car's 'safety' driver streamed TV show before fatal crash: police · 2018

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The safety driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber car in Tempe, Arizona, was streaming a television show on her phone until about the time of a fatal crash, according to a police report that deem…

Uber operator was watching The Voice just before fatal self-driving crash in Tempe, Arizona · 2018

The backup "safety driver" in an Uber Technologies self-driving vehicle that killed a pedestrian in March was streaming the popular television show The Voice on her mobile phone in the moments before the crash, according to police in Arizon…

Franken-algorithms: The Deadly Consequences of Unpredictable Code · 2018

The 18th of March 2018, was the day tech insiders had been dreading. That night, a new moon added almost no light to a poorly lit four-lane road in Tempe, Arizona, as a specially adapted Uber Volvo XC90 detected an object ahead. Part of the… · 2019

The self-driving Uber car that hit and killed a woman walking her bike across a street wasn’t designed to detect “jaywalking pedestrians.”

That's according to an official dossier published by the US National Safety Transportation Board (NTS…

Who's liable when a self-driving truck causes a crash? · 2021

Advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) have been widely adopted by motor carriers for collision mitigation, automatic cruise control, lane keeping and driver fatigue monitoring, among other functions. Some fleets are now taking the next step…

‘I’m the Operator’: The Aftermath of a Self-Driving Tragedy · 2022

RAFAELA VASQUEZ LIKED to work nights, alone, buffered from a world she had her reasons to distrust. One Sunday night in March 2018, Uber assigned her the Scottsdale loop. She drove a gray Volvo SUV, rigged up with cameras and lidar sensors,…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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