Who was at fault in last week's driverless Uber crash?Posted: Updated:
We're getting our first look at the police report following last week's crash in Tempe involving a driverless Uber. And it appears two different sides of the story are coming out about exactly what happened.
[ORIGINAL STORY: Uber self-driving car involved in Tempe accident]
The woman who hit the Uber claims traffic was clear and the Uber car came out of nowhere.
But the Uber employee behind the wheel says the car was going 38 miles per hour when the light then turned yellow, and that's when the woman turned in front of them. He says there was no time to slam on the brakes.
In the end, the driver of the car, Alexandria Cole, "was cited for a failure to yield when making a left-hand turn and thus striking the Uber vehicle."
The collision Friday night at the intersection of Don Carlos Avenue and McClintock Drive prompted Uber to ground its driverless vehicle program in Tempe, San Francisco and Pittsburgh for the weekend.
Uber says that service resumed Monday.
"We paused our development operations and passenger pilots this weekend to better understand what happened in Tempe on Friday evening," said an Uber spokesperson. "We felt confident in returning these cars to the road."
According to the accident report, Tempe police say a car, driven by Alexandria Cole, was northbound on McClintock Drive when she "failed to yield making a left turn onto Don Carlos Ave. and collided with" the Uber vehicle, which had been southbound on McClintock.
The police report continues on to state that after being struck, the Uber collided with a traffic signal pole, then flipped onto its side and hit two other vehicles, which were stopped in traffic on McClintock.
The police report contains the statement from Alexandra Cole, the driver of the first car.
"I was in the left turn lane of northbound McClintock turning onto westbound Don Carlos. the lane closest to her and the middle of southbound McClintock were stopped, as traffic across the intersection was stopped. the light was green and there were about 6 seconds left on the crosswalk timer. As far as I could tell, the third lane had no one coming in it. So I was clear to make my turn. Right as I got to the middle lane about to cross the third I saw a car flying through the intersection but couldn't brake fast enough to completely avoid collision, I braked as much as possible but still collided with the oncoming car and my airbag deployed. I sustained no immediate injuries because my vehicle was not moving fast."
The police report also contains accounts from Patrick Murphy, who was behind the wheel of the Uber.
Patrick Murphy statement:
"Traveling southbound on McClintock in the far light lane @ 38mph approaching Don Carlos the traffic signal turned yellow as I entered the intersection. There was traffic lined up in the left lane all the way to Don Carlos(both prior and past Don Carlos) As I entered the intersection I saw the vehicle turning left on Don Carlos from the northbound McClintock lane. there was no time to react as there was a blind spot created by the line of traffic in the southbound left lane on McClintock."
The police report also contained statements from witnesses. One witness indicated that the Uber "just wanted to beat the light and kept going" and that it was "the other driver's fault for trying to beat the light and hitting gas so hard."
Earlier this week, the Governor's Office released a statement about the crash. It read, in part:
"We are glad that there were no serious injuries. Early reporting from the media indicates the accident was the result of human error by another vehicle. Public safety remains our top priority and we will continue to monitor the situation closely."
To read the police report, click here.
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