Raw Dashcam Footage Of Deadly Uber Volvo XC90 PHEV Crash Released

MAR 22 2018 BY JEFF PEREZ 48

Dashcam footage reveals both driver and car appear to be at fault.

Driver Appears To Be Using Phone

***UPDATE March 21: Police have now released dashcam footage from the vehicle. The clip from ABC 15 Arizona is edited so as to not show the fatal impact, but view with caution as the clip could be upsetting. Visibility is certainly very poor and the pedestrian isn’t visible until the vehicle is nearly upon her. However, it doesn’t appear she suddenly stepped into the road, and we can’t help but wonder why the vehicle’s autonomous systems didn’t detect her since things like radar shouldn’t be affected by darkness.

UPDATE 2: In a discussion with the San Francisco Chronicle, Tempe’s police chief said evidence so far suggested that the autonomous Uber vehicle was not at fault for the accident. “It’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway,” the chief told the newspaper. 

Police have access to two videos of the accident. One shows the road in front of the SUV, and the other observes the driver.

An autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona was involved in a deadly collision early Monday morning that left one pedestrian dead. One of the company’s autonomous Volvo XC90’s struck a female pedestrian, according to The New York Times, who crossed in front of the vehicle outside of a crosswalk. The woman was taken to a local area hospital but later died as a result of her injuries.

The incident occurred in Tempe, near Mill Avenue and Curry Road, according to local police. The vehicle was in autonomous mode with a safety driver behind the wheel when it struck a woman crossing the street outside of a crosswalk. It’s the first known fatality of a pedestrian involving a self-driving vehicle.

Following the incident, Uber has temporarily pulled its entire autonomous vehicle fleet off the road, not just in Arizona, but also in other major cities where the tech company was operating, including San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Toronto. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted out his condolences to the family of the victim:

“Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.”

The company released a statement that it will be working with local police to figure out exactly what went wrong:

“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”

Source: The New York TimesABC 15 Arizona

Categories: Videos, Volvo

Tags: , ,

newest oldest most voted

Very sad situation but it was mainly caused by the rider crossing in the dark in a unmarked spot.


Here in Egypt we are used to that kind of thing. But in the west we can say that the woman was at fault. She should use the Zebra crossing. It looks to me that she wanted to kill herself. But even then the software should have stopped the car. We have to wait and see what the LIDAR saw. I am 100% certain that the LIDAR saw that woman long before she crossed the road. So the software is not perfect just yet. Also the radar must have seen her. The only thing that could have not seen her is a camera. The human eye could not have seen her either. The woman knew that a car was coming. There is no chance that she did not see the light of the car. Yet she decided to cross the road. It is more and more clear to me that she wanted to kill herself.


the woman did not have retroreflective patches on clothes and a bicycle. in russia and ukraine pedestrians are obliged to have them in the dark, if unlighted sections of the highway are used. Of course, not all of this is adhered to, but those who want to live and are law-abiding, – sew them on their clothes. with retroreflective elements, visibility is increased tens of times.


You have Zebra crossings? I didn’t realize they were that much of a nuisance species to warrant signage.
But then we have problems with deer, so I guess it’s all the same.

It just makes me wonder how far she was from the nearest crosswalk.


Humans being humans. The “driver” is doing exactly what many other drivers or regular cars are doing these days. The pedestrian is not taking responsibility for their own safety by crossing the road despite obviously seeing the approaching headlights. Nothing unusual, unfortunately.


Absolutely spot on.

Hans Hammermill

Two things seem strange:

1) Are the headlights aimed right? The view distance seems small?

2) Where are the reflectors in the bicycle wheels? Reflectors should have caught the headlights much farther out.

This is very sad and tragic.

LIDAR should have caught it. . .I wonder if this is the “static object on road” problem that most emergency braking systems can’t account for?


“Lidar should have caught it.”

That’s the issue in a nutshell. Autonomous driving is supposed to be BETTER than humans. Instead, the human fool looking down (writing, texting, whatever) AND the autonomous machine didn’t make an attempt to brake until after the car plowed over the pedestrian.

She should have survived with the autonomous system if it was working as advertised. The tracking should have picked up her movement as she went across three vehicle lanes. Nothing. Nada.

Uber needs to really examine its software, and not put a car on the road until it is fixed.


agrees with the fact that the software did not apply emergency braking at the time the woman appeared on the road, although it was not enough to do it at a much faster speed than the person driving.


This is very obvious. The system cannot see the biker crossing street! Maybe it’s not lidar detecting the corners. It’s probably using visual detection system that requires sunlight to shine the reflection back. Of course if the driver didn’t look at her cellphone, she could have probably see it and stopped. San Francisco being where it’s revenues relying on Under spinned the story.

Morality of Robots

Charge the driver with manslaughter.


The driver was driving legally in AZ, they have no distracted driving laws.


I am not a lawyer of course.


For better or worse, there is most likely not enough to charge the driver with a misdemeanor traffic violation, let alone manslaughter.

The law looks at whether a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances would have been able to act in order to avoid an unreasonable risk of harm. In this case, a reasonable person would most likely have been unable to stop or slow the vehicle given the video evidence.

What this video does demonstrate is that humans begin to rely upon automation in circumstances where they should not have this reliance. Drivers end up using autonomous driving with an expectation of perfection after hours of experience. Then, all of a sudden, the driver is expected to pounce and save a life.

Whether this is criminal or not is a question the prosecutor will have to make. But truly, I don’t think the driver’s behavior rises to the level of ordinary negligence, let alone gross negligence,


You assume human eyes are unable to see more than a low res, low contrast ratio video camera. That is a very poor assumption. This is a newer car, and unless the headlights are extremely deficient the lady should have been visible to a person for roughly 3 seconds. That’s plenty of time to react, if the driver pays attention.

Fool Cells

Why? Stupid person crossing the road and not watching for cars. There was no crosswalk; the pedestrian had no right of way.


Wearing a black coat at night is never a good idea.

Damocles Axe

Very sad, there were no innocent parties here 🙁

The car failed to see and stop for the woman when the video shows the woman was far enough out front for a full stop.

The safety driver was clearly looking at something in her lap and had time to at least slow down had she been paying attention.

The city had (from an earlier picture) installed a lighted cross walk in that location, but later changed its mind and put up a sign saying “do not use”. The sign would not have been lighted at night.

I would say Uber was not at fault (they knew their system didn’t work perfectly – thus the safety driver).


There was no possible way for the car to stop once she was in front. However, the Lidar should have detected her.


Not Shure about the law in USA but, in Sweden he would be charged for using the cellphone while driving. Its not level5 as we can clearly se.

If i was in charge of the Uber program i would have banned all phones and have 2-4h max driving time per driver.

To me its booth the driver and the cyclist fault and one paid a heavier price. Thats why i hold the driver to a higher standard.


we have a lot of dtp, that take place every day, such as when pedestrians cross over the metal bumpers, installed on the roads (1,2 m high), run over three or more high-speed bands (90-110 km), again slip through the bumpers along the center of the road, and again run over three lanes in the opposite direction. the number of those who even reached the middle bumpers is much less than those who tried to do this, and the number of those who went all the way – not more than 10%. but it does not stop these monkeys at all, and it repeats itself every other day. and the underground transition in most cases is located no further 200m from the place. this case is essentially virtually the same – just a more “civilized” violation – the intersection of the street in an unlighting dark prohibited place.


Clearly any autonomous vehicle should have noticed the pedestrian and stopped. At the same time why did the pedestrian casually walk into the path of a speeding vehicle?


The big question is dis the car even try and slow down?


No. From the Tempe police, there appears to have been no attempt by the car or driver to slow prior to the collision.

Fool Cells

No, the big question is why did the person cross the road in front of a car. The person has no right of way.


Why do humans do anything they do?

Come to any big city, you’ll see people crossing the street where ever they want to.

Another Euro point of view

Come on ! This is not relevant to the problem. A self driving system has to be perfect. If not perfect that it needs to have a device similar as found in Cadillac that monitors the driver attention. Not very long ago there was around here someone killed due to a collision between a car and a escaped horse. Of course the horse had “no right of way” but sadly no one mentioned that to him…Now this tragic accident points to the fact that logic of “cameras are sufficient as it mimics the driver’s view” is not good enough. Self driving system has to be better, at least to compensate the capacity of a human driver to anticipate obstacle better than computers (for example in certain areas & certain time of the year I know that likely a huge tractor can throw itself on the road from a field where it just performed agricultural work, possible to program of course but will take time).


Agreed. The comments are shockingly ignorant here. Bicyclist broke the law. Period. The estate if the cyclist will be liable for the damages to the car. That’s not even debatable.


The car should’ve seen her. No doubt about it. Lidar is clearly not ready for primetime.

Fool Cells

Perhaps, but the person does not have the right of way. Do you walk across roads without looking for oncoming traffic?

Martin Winlow
LIDAR relies on the object in question being sufficiently reflective to bounce the LASER light back to the LIDAR transceiver. Equally, RADAR relies on either electromagnetically reflective material or a hard surface of appropriate orientation to reflect back to the RADAR transceiver. The cyclist’s clothing and the spoked cycle wheels/frame offered very little to achieve this. And of course, the cameras failed as well due to the lack of light as shown in the video. Seems to me that this is one of the 10% of situations that pretty much nothing would make any difference to have prevented it… except, of course, better awareness on the part of the victim. I do not subscribe to the theory that apparently many others do, ie that in a car Vs pedestrian conflict in the road, the car driver is automatically at fault if a collision occurs. *All* road users have a responsibility to protect themselves and others whilst using the road. Even when you are using a pedestrian crossing it is as much *your* responsibility to ensure your safety as it is a vehicle driver’s. There are simply too many ways for humans and technology to fail to risk adopting the attitude… Read more »

That is not how those laws work. They put the burden of proof on the more powerful mode of transport but if the driver can prove that it was the cyclist’s fault, then in those countries, the driver would walk free.
In this case, it seems the lights of the car were too low (perhaps projecting only about 30ft out). This means the cameras could not spot her until it was too late and it seems the cyclist did not see the car. Having a more attentive driver would have made little difference.
I can see why Uber took the cars of the road though: 1) the car did not break even 1 second before the accident; 2) More importantly, the view was not obstructed in any way so Radar and Lidar should have had a clear view of what was about to happen. Accidents are sometimes unavoidable, even with self driving cars, but this one should not have happened.

May Elaine Herzberg rest in peace.

Magnus H

A very distasteful post from insideev. A person died, and you put the video up for all to see? And open the comments to people trying to armchair the entire events, blaming the victim, the driver, the car?

It’s not a computer render, a person died.

Bill Howland

I disagree Magnus H – Inside Evs actually is performing a Public Service here. As far as this case is concerned, the video is the unvarnished truth as to what ACTUALLY happened.

We are not (supposedly) children here, but even children need to see the consequences of Dangerous Machinery – an Automotive Vehicle of any Make or Model is the LARGEST, most powerful, most dangerous machine the vast majority of people operate in their lifetimes.

Perhaps the auto manufacturers and by extension, gov’t contractors, who are pushing this technology down people’s throats should back off for a few weeks, which is what apparently is happening.

Fool Cells

You sound like you are blaming the car. That person did not have the right of way. Why did the biker walk in front of oncoming cars?

Steven Loveday

Unfortunately, pedestrians usually have the right of way. The car was designed to be able to stop, but the driver’s job in being the “safety” driver in a test vehicle was to pay attention and take control if not. Neither the car’s tech nor the driver even attempted. Pedestrians should not attempt to beat traffic and walk across streets, especially in the dark and without a crosswalk. This was a terrible choice, not to mention no lights, no reflective clothing, no reflectors on the bike, etc. But, still, based on the law, the pedestrian generally has the right of way, regardless, even if they make bad choices. Of, course there are always exceptions. Terribly sad for sure.

Steven Loveday

The video was shared by the police and is all over the internet. It’s part of the case of trying to figure out the situation, who is at fault and work toward improvement. It’s not as if it’s some grotesque leak that was illegally shared to reveal gore and to poke fun. Fortunately, it doesn’t show the impact, but rather gives you an idea of the situation outside the car, so that you have a better idea of what was happening when you see the driver’s distraction and reaction inside the car. It also helps paint a picture of the lighting, time of day, the speed at which the pedestrian was moving, other traffic in the area, the car’s failure to even notice the pedestrian, and driver’s lack of attention and reaction, etc. It is a telling video and eye-opening for the segment. If people can’t see it here, they can find it flooding the web elsewhere, with perhaps little ability to have a community discussion about it.

Magnus H

The community you have are not take with finding out the cause of the accident, or improving the technology. Those who are interested and can effect the future, can get all the info from the written report.

Using a person’s death to drive traffic to this site is really bad taste. “it’s on the internet” doesnt prevent you from rising above.

Steven Loveday

There is no death in the video. We are simply reporting the news related to autonomous vehicles and a major story in the segment. To not share and report it would be a larger issue. We didn’t report it to drive traffic. We reported it because it’s news. Had the video been gory or misrepresented, or not specifically shared by the authorities for exactly the purposes we continued to share it, we would have refrained.

David Gould
A few things to think about: – If you are driving too fast to avoid obstacles you are driving too fast. Suppose it was a deer or a refrigerator that fell off a truck. A safe driver human or machine should avoid hitting those things too. So the excuse that a human “could not have seen her” really means a human driving too fast for conditions could not have seen her. – This is dash cam video, humans can see much better than is apparent in the video. – The car has sensors (LIDAR etc) that should have detected this person well over 100 ft away, plenty of time to stop. The excuse that “she came out of nowhere” is contradicted by the fact that she was moving slowly and had to cross three traffic lanes before the point she was hit. That is, she was not behind a tree or a parked car, she was on the roadway with no obstructions. – If a self driving car cannot cope with jaywalkers, it is not ready for deployment. – Human driven cars kill about 1 person per 80 million miles in the US. So far autonomous cars have driven less… Read more »
Bill Howland

With this admittedly small sample size, Mr. Gould you have just proven that AV’s are 8X more dangerous than human drivers. I don’t like this technology for reasons given in other nearby comments. Automobiles are much too dangerous to have these toys installed.

Bill Howland

Actually Mr. Gould: far more than just this one person has died due to the driver’s TRUST in automatic driving systems. It is (horrifically) more like 24 X more dangerous than humans.


She and her bike should have been picked up by the sensors.

Why she trusted the driver to see her? Alcohol?

Bill Howland
I agree with u_serious that this is *NOT* as characterized by the Tempe, AZ policewoman Chief. I find it incompetent that she would state ‘the woman (cyclist) came out of nowhere’, which clearly is not the case. This car also has the worst headlights of any car in my lifetime – perhaps they thought they weren’t needed with AD technology – (this is simply another case of we the gullible public being told everything is fine). Even though not visible to human eyes the cyclist was clearly blocking the vehicle’s path and you would think it was a simple matter for the car to stop. I’m glad that manufacturers, are, for the next few weeks at least, dialing back from this lunacy of extremely quick Autonomous roll outs. This is one subject where I’m 180 degrees out of sync with people like Bob Lutz. Manufacturers – such as Tesla, come out with cute sounding names for their products, like ‘AutoPilot’, and in the fine contractual print say that the system is in no way an ‘autopilot’ and the driver must keep extreme constant attention on the road. Of course, the 40 year old ‘S’ driver may be forgiven for thinking… Read more »

Whether or not the killed woman was being stupid is nearly irrelevant. If AVs can’t stop for the occasional foolish kid chasing a ball – or deer, for that matter – they’re not worthwhile.


We need autonomous pedestrians. Wait, why am I commenting here? This article is not about tesla. Hey guys, could you please do a review on the model 3’s lighter? Because I really find that important. A 30 minute video should be enough. Thanks. You cannot ever get too much information on a lighter that is going to disrupt 10 industries.

Steven Loveday



According to Reuters the Volvo drove at 65 km/h, I don’t understand why the Uber Car didn’t stop?