The Legal Saga of Uber’s Fatal Self-Driving Car Crash Is Over

On Friday, we got an answer: It’s the person sitting behind the wheel. In an Arizona courtroom, the test operator during the crash, Rafaela Vasquez, the subject of an in-depth WIRED feature last year, pleaded guilty to one count of endangerment and was sentenced to three years of supervised probation, with no time in prison. In Arizona, endangerment is defined as “recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.”..

As for Uber, the plea saves the company from another embarrassing airing of its erstwhile self-driving program’s grave shortcomings, already highlighted in a lengthy investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Vasquez’s legal team had shown every intention to make its defense about shifting blame to Uber, arguing that Vasquez had been set up to fail.