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Tempe police release video of fatal Uber autonomous accident

by Justin King

The video appears to raise more questions than it answers.

Police in Tempe, Arizona, have decided to release videos shot by Uber's Volvo XC90 prototype as it struck and killed a pedestrian over the weekend.

The pedestrian was apparently jaywalking but did not step off the median directly in front of the car, as police had previously indicated. The victim did walk directly in front of the car, however she walked across an open lane before entering the lane occupied by the XC90.

Notably, Volvo's own City Safe technology is claimed to completely avoid collisions with cyclists or pedestrians "walking out in front of the car" at speeds of up to 28 mph. At higher speeds, braking still kicks in to "help mitigate the consequences" of the collision.

It is unclear if Uber disabled City Safe or the system failed to work as designed, though the former appears more likely in a prototype vehicle designed to test a separate suite of autonomous sensors and equipment.

The video also shows the safety driver looking down for several seconds, apparently looking up at the road only as the crash presumably became unavoidable.

Police are still investigating the incident and have not made any formal declaration of guilt. Early review suggests Uber's safety driver will not face charges.