"There are more unexpected traffic scenarios in Taiwan than in the USA, which is why we need to establish a more controlled environment for driverless cars", he said. Vasquez appears to look down at something off-camera in the moments before impact. He has touted Arizona's few regulations in his efforts to lure the companies to Arizona from California.
Uber suspended its self-driving auto tests across the US on Monday after one of its vehicles, operating in autonomous mode, crashed into 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who died in the hospital shortly after.
In Arizona, companies such as Uber only need to carry minimum liability insurance to operate self-driving cars.
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When Khosrowshahi took over as Uber's chief executive, he had considered shutting down the self-driving auto operations, according to two other people familiar with Khosrowshahi's thinking. His visit to Phoenix was seen by the Arizona team as a critical opportunity to demonstrate their progress, according to the people familiar with the company's operations in the Phoenix area.
"With autonomy, the edge cases kill you, so you've got to build out for all the edge cases", Khosrowshahi said at a conference in November.
In this clip, the scene of the accident comes up at about 33 seconds. A smaller group "stressed" the cars by putting them in challenging situations where, without human intervention, they would have crashed.
Around October, Uber merged the two groups to get to a point where it could offer a truly driverless auto service to customers "as quickly as possible".
This isn't the first time Uber has had to defend its background checks. The second person had been there for only data-related tasks, not for safety, the spokesman said.
Uber would not say Thursday whether Vasquez was on a cellphone, whether she was following company procedures before the collision, or whether she remains an Uber employee. This isn't a great rate, compared with Uber's competitors. California has required the presence of such safety drivers, though starting next month firms can apply for a permit not to use them if certain requirements are met.