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Police have released the first video from inside the Uber self-driving car that killed a pedestrian

Here’s what the car — and its operator — saw.

Screengrab from video taken inside Uber’s self-driving car
Screengrab from video taken inside Uber’s self-driving car

Three days after an Uber self-driving vehicle fatally crashed into a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz., police have released video footage of what the vehicle saw with its cameras moments before running the woman over, and what happened inside the vehicle, where an operator was at the wheel.

The Uber vehicle was operating in autonomous mode when it crashed into 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg on Sunday evening. Herzberg was transported to a hospital, where she later died from her injuries, in what may be the first known pedestrian fatality in a self-driving crash.

The video footage does not conclusively show who is at fault. Tempe police initially reported that Herzberg appeared suddenly; however, the video footage seems to show her coming into view a number of seconds before the crash. It also showed the vehicle operator behind the wheel intermittently looking down while the car was driving itself.

Warning: This video shows a woman about to be hit by a car — and a driver about to hit someone on the road. Viewer discretion is advised.

Tempe police were joined by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in investigating the incident on Monday. The federal and local agencies are examining the video, as well as the vehicle, the accident site and any data the vehicle logged as part of the investigation.

Uber is cooperating with the investigation.

“The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement. “Our cars remain grounded, and we’re assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can.”

Tempe police said on Tuesday that the department has yet to determine blame. However, Chief of Police Sylvia Moir previously told the San Francisco Chronicle that preliminarily “it appears that the Uber would likely not be at fault,” largely because Herzberg was not crossing the street at the crosswalk.

“It’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode” — self-driving or human-driven — “based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway,” Moir told the Chronicle.

Based on the results of the investigation, Uber could face criminal charges. The Tempe Police will submit their findings to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to determine if criminal charges are warranted.

Uber has grounded its fleet of self-driving cars in the four cities they are currently being tested in, as have a few other players like Toyota and Boston-based self-driving startup, nuTonomy.

The public reaction to the incident could delay autonomous development as a whole, or at least could affect Uber’s self-driving efforts.

If Uber’s technology is found to be at fault in this accident, the company may face some fresh resistance from new or existing partnering automakers. That may still be the case even if there wasn’t a failure of the technology. The public perception and reaction alone could be enough for automakers to be wary of working with Uber publicly. Striking these relationships and maintaining its public image ahead of a planned 2019 IPO are pertinent for the company.

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