I wrote about the self-driving Uber car that killed a pedestrian yesterday, but new reports are coming out about the safety driver behind the wheel of the car, and it’s not a good look on Uber.
According to the Daily Mail, Rafaela Vasquez was convicted of attempted armed robbery of a Blockbuster Video back in 2001. Blockbuster Video, really. You know this happened a long time ago when a Blockbuster Video was involved.
Let me preface this by saying I actually don’t have a problem with giving felons a second chance. Especially when they’ve been out of prison for some 14 years and walked a clean line. It also sounds like Rafaela did nothing wrong and the person walked out in front of the car without much reaction time from anyone. It’s unfortunate that she is being highlighted here because of her record, but that is the reality of the situation. Uber has been in the news quite a bit about drivers doing bad things. They have been working to tighten up background checks for their drivers, so I do give them credit in that department.
However, if you’re a company that has had terrible PR with your drivers, and your self-driving program is already making people scared, don’t be stupid and hire a felon to sit behind the wheel of 2-ton machine driving 45-55 miles per hour. Again, I’m all for giving felons a second chance, but keep them in the office or something if you’re already dealing with bad press.