Uber is not being held liable for the death of a woman who was killed by one of its autonomous cars in the US last year, a court investigation has found. The woman, Elaine Herzberg, 49, was killed when an autonomous Volvo XC90 struck her at 70 km/h while walking her bicycle across a road in Tempe, Arizona.

Despite having decided the ride-hailing company is not criminally liable for the accident, a county official said the car’s human backup driver, Rafaela Vasquez, could still face legal charges.

The police reports that Vasquez was distracted at the time of the crash, with evidence suggesting she may have been streaming an episode of The Voice on her smartphone. The fatal accident could have been avoided had she had her eyes on the road instead, the police added.

The accident happened along a dimly-lit road when Herzberg, apparently a homeless woman, crossed the street on the fateful day of March 18, 2018. Since then, the Arizonian state has banned Uber’s self-driving car test programme. Below is an actual video footage showing Vasquez’s actions prior to the crash.