Uber Pausing All Self-Driving Car Tests After a Fatality

Mar 19, 2018

In what seems to be the first pedestrian fatality by a self-driving car, a woman in Tempe, Arizona, died after being hit by an Uber self-driving car.

Uber is pausing all of its self-driving car tests after the fatal incident, Bloomberg News reports. The ride-sharing company was testing autonomous vehicles in San Francisco, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

The incident occurred around 10pm on Sunday when 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg crossed the street outside of the crosswalk near the intersection of Curry Road and Mill Avenue, a Tempe Police spokeswoman told TPG in an email. Herzberg was later taken to a nearby hospital, where she died from her injuries.

The autonomous Uber vehicle was in self-driving mode but had a human driver monitoring it behind the wheel when the collision occurred.

Uber said it would be assisting in the investigation of the incident.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi had predicted earlier this year that the company’s self-driving vehicles would be on the road within 18 months.

Although this seems to be the first pedestrian death caused by an autonomous vehicle, this is not the first fatality involving a self-driving car. In 2016, the driver of a Tesla Model S electric sedan was killed while the car was in self-driving mode.

*Update 3/19/18 at 2pm: This post has been updated to include the victim’s name and the time and exact location of the accident.

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