Uber driver was watching Hulu when self-driving vehicle killed pedestrian

National Transportation Safety Board investigators examining the Volvo that was involved in the crash. Vasquez initially told them neither her work nor her personal phone were in use at the time

Driver was streaming The Voice when Uber self-driving car crashed, say police

According to data provided by Hulu, the driver was streaming NBC's popular show "The Voice" on the Hulu app for about 40 minutes.

Police were able to obtain records of Vasquez's account from the television streaming service Hulu LLC, which showed she'd streamed the talent show for 42 minutes on the night of the March 18 crash.

"The report states data obtained from the self-driving system shows the system first registered radar and LIDAR observations of the pedestrian about six seconds before impact, when the vehicle was traveling 43 miles per hour", the NTSB's report on the crash reads.

Vasquez, 44, one of many Arizonans Uber hired for its self-driving auto testing program, was supposed to focus on the road ahead because the vehicles aren't ready to perform autonomously.

Following the crash, Uber has dealt with a major setback in its aim to develop self-driving cars.

Uber told the publication that it prohibits drivers from looking down at any device while manning an self-driving auto. The report provides more evidence that driver Rafaela Vasquez was distracted in the seconds before the crash.

Vasquez was given a field test and police initially determined she was not impaired. A video of the moments before the crash shows Vasquez looking toward her right knee while occasionally looking up and around. The report said that she looked down 166 times while the vehicle was in motion, frequently looking in the direction of her right knee.

After the crash, the ride-hailing company said it did a top-to-bottom safety evaluation, reviewing internal processes and safety culture.

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In the body-cam footage, an officer is seen speaking with Vasquez as she attempts to explain what exactly occurred at the time of the collision.

However, the car's automated safety braking system was deactivated by Uber in order to stop potentially erratic behavior.

Investigators' tests show that the accident, in March, would have been "entirely avoidable" had Vasquez focused on the road, the report says. The NTSB also found that the vehicle didn't alert the driver about the pedestrian, even after sensors detected Herzberg six seconds before impact. Uber's policy is to ban any use of mobile devices by the safety driver while its autonomous vehicles are on public roads.

Maricopa County prosecutors will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to charge her.

The NTSB released its report one day removed from Uber announcing that it would end its self-driving operations in Arizona and lay off around 300 employees connected to the program. Tempe police Sgt. Ronald Elcock said that the pedestrian stepped into the street outside of the crosswalk and was immediately struck by the vehicle.

The National Transportation Safety Board, in a preliminary report issued last month, said the autonomous driving system on Uber's Volvo XC-90 SUV spotted Herzberg about six seconds before hitting her, but did not stop because the system used to automatically apply brakes in potentially unsafe situations had been disabled.

A fatal Tesla crash in Florida may have involved the driver watching a Harry Potter movie on a portable DVD player while the car's Autopilot mode was engaged.

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