Every day, as he goes to and from work, Arizona State University urban planning professor David King rides his bike* past the intersection where Elaine Herzberg was killed on Sunday night. The seven-lane road (counting turn lanes) in Tempe, Arizona is wide open, with no bushes or parked cars for a person to jump out from behind. In the immediate vicinity are a large park, an office building, and a nightclub that’s closed on Sundays—few potential distractions for a driver negotiating the area.
Herzberg, a 49-year-old woman who was homeless, was pushing a bicycle laden with her belongings along this road when she was struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle around 10 p.m. Sunday. She later died at a hospital, gaining the grisly distinction of being the first known pedestrian to be killed by a self-driving car.