Pedestrian seen crossing the road before fatal strike. Screenshot frorm video released by the Tempe Police Department.

Federal investigators said Thursday that the self-driving Uber SUV that struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona in March saw the woman six seconds before colliding with her, but the car failed to stop because the emergency brake was disabled, reports the AP.

What they're saying: The National Transportation Safety Board stated that Uber engineers had intentionally disabled the Volvo's emergency braking system while the car was operating autonomously, because it lessens the "potential for erratic vehicle behavior." Instead, Uber relies on the human backup driver to take over, but "the system is not designed to alert the operator," NTSB added. The system noticed the woman 6 seconds before the car struck her and would have needed only 1.3 seconds to stop in time, the report says (The timing in this sentence has been corrected from earlier versions.)

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.

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