Prosecutors say Uber not criminally responsible in fatal self-driving car crash

Prosecutors say Uber not criminally responsible in fatal self-driving car crash
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Prosecutors on Tuesday said that Uber is not criminally responsible for a 2018 fatal car crash in Arizona that involved one of the company's self-driving cars, Reuters reports.

The Yavapai County Attorney's Office said "there is no basis for criminal liability for the Uber corporation arising from this matter," in a statement made public.

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Prosecutors also said the car's backup driver, Rafaela Vasquez, should be referred to Tempe, Ariz., police for additional investigation.

In March of 2018, a self-driving Uber car struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street at night. It was the first pedestrian fatality in the nation that involved a self-driving vehicle.

Following the crash, Uber suspended all of its self-driving car testing on public roads before laying off 300 of its self-driving vehicle operators in Arizona and permanently shutting down testing there.

The company later returned the self-driving cars to the road for testing in Pittsburgh. 

The effects of the accident reverberated around the self-driving car industry, increasing scrutiny on the nascent technology.

Vasquez, the car's backup driver, could be facing charges.

Police found that the driver in the Uber was watching the show "The Voice" on Hulu at the time of the accident. Vasquez has not previously commented on the incident and could not be reached by Reuters.