Monday, 19 March 2018 21:23

Uber Halts Autonomous Car Testing After Pedestrian is Killed in AZ

Written by Alistair Charlton, GearBrain
The autonomous Volvo XC90 struck a pedestrian as she crossed the road. The autonomous Volvo XC90 struck a pedestrian as she crossed the road. ABC15 screenshot


A woman has died after being struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle in Tempe, Phoenix, AZ.

The Volvo XC90 was operating in autonomous mode when it hit the woman as she crossed the road, police said. A vehicle operator sat behind the wheel at the time of the incident, but the car was carrying no other passengers.


Uber said in a statement on Twitter: "Our hearts go out to the victim's family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident."


It is believed that Elaine Herzberg, 49, is the first pedestrian to be killed by an autonomous car. The incident occurred between Mill Avenue and Curry Road on the night of March 18. Police said the victim was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk at the time of the collision. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she died from her injuries.


The National Transportation Safety Board said in a tweet that it is "sending a team to investigate" the incident.


Uber had been testing its autonomous vehicles on public roads across Arizona, giving rides to a small number of customers. A safety operator sits in the driver's seat of all of these vehicles.


Uber said it has suspended its autonomous car operations in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. Company chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said on Twitter: "Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim's family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened."

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