A woman in the driving seat of an autonomous Uber that hit and killed a pedestrian was likely streaming an episode of telly show The Voice on her phone immediately before the collision, according to reports.

State police in Tempe, Arizona, reckoned the crash, which killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was "entirely avoidable" had the focus of Uber's "safety driver" not been elsewhere.

Driver Rafaela Vasquez was watching The Voice in the minutes prior to the accident, according to police.

Streaming service Hulu reportedly shared records with cops that showed Vasquez's account was being used to stream the talent show on the night of the crash, stopping at 21:59.

A preliminary US National Transportation Safety Board report on the crash, released in May, put the time of the collision at 21:58.

The same NTSB paper also reported that Uber's self-driving Volvo XC90's emergency braking systems were turned off "to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behaviour".

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