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Elaine Herzberg

first pedestrian fatality caused by self-driving car

Elaine Herzberg is ...


Born 2 February 1968 in Mesa
Died 18 March 2018 in Tempe
Age 50 years, 1 months
Cause running over

Sex or gender female

About Elaine Herzberg

Elaine Herzberg: The First Pedestrian Fatality Caused by a Self-Driving Car

Elaine Herzberg was a 49-year-old woman who lived in Tempe, Arizona. On March 18, 2018, she became the first pedestrian to be killed by a self-driving car. Herzberg was walking her bicycle across a four-lane road when she was struck by an Uber self-driving car traveling at 38 miles per hour. She died from her injuries at a nearby hospital.

Herzberg was a mother of two and a grandmother. She had a troubled past, struggling with drug addiction and homelessness. However, she was trying to turn her life around and had recently moved into a sober living home. She was known for her kindness and generosity, often giving food and money to those in need.

The incident sparked a nationwide debate about the safety of self-driving cars. Uber suspended its self-driving car program and the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the accident. The investigation found that the car's sensors detected Herzberg six seconds before the crash, but the car's software failed to identify her as a pedestrian and did not apply the brakes.

Herzberg's death was a tragic reminder that self-driving technology is still in its early stages and there are many challenges that need to be addressed before it can be safely deployed on public roads. It also raised questions about the responsibility of companies like Uber in ensuring the safety of their self-driving cars.

Herzberg's family filed a lawsuit against Uber, which was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. The incident also led to changes in Arizona's self-driving car regulations, requiring companies to submit more detailed safety plans before testing their vehicles on public roads.

Elaine Herzberg's death was a devastating loss for her family and friends. However, her legacy will live on as a reminder of the importance of safety in the development of self-driving technology.


1. "Elaine Herzberg: Woman killed by Uber self-driving car in Arizona." BBC News, 19 March 2018.

2. "Elaine Herzberg, Victim in Fatal Uber Accident, Remembered as Generous and Kind." The New York Times, 22 March 2018.

3. "Uber's self-driving car saw pedestrian 6 seconds before fatal strike, NTSB says." USA Today, 24 May 2018.

4. "Uber settles with family of woman killed by self-driving car."

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