A self-driving Uber car that struck and killed an Arizona woman was not able to recognize that pedestrians jaywalk, the National Traffic Safety Board revealed in documents released earlier this week.
Elaine Herzberg, 49, died after she was hit in March 2018 by a Volvo SUV, which had an operator in the driver's seat and was traveling at about 40 miles per hour in autonomous mode at night in Tempe, NBC News reports.
The fatal accident came as a result of this automated Uber not having "the capability to classify an object as a pedestrian unless that object was near a crosswalk," one of the NTSB documents said.
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Because the car could not recognize Herzberg as a pedestrian or person — instead alternating between classifications of "vehicle, bicycle, and an other" — it could not correctly predict her path and concluded it needed to brake just 1.3 seconds before it struck her as she wheeled her bicycle across the street a little before 10 p.m. at night.
Uber told the NTSB that it "has since modified its programming to include jaywalkers among its recognized objects," but other concerns were also expressed in NTSB's report.