Uber Suspends Self-Driving Car Tests After Pedestrian Death

Posted by at 11:49 am on March 19, 2018

A self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday night. The incident could be the first pedestrian death involving a self-driving vehicle.

The car was in autonomous mode but had a human riding along to take control of the vehicle if necessary, according to the Tempe Police Department. The victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was struck while walking outside a crosswalk, police said. She was immediately transported to a local hospital, where she died.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi referenced the “incredibly sad news out of Arizona” in a tweet and reaffirmed that the company will cooperate with local law enforcement.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to investigate the incident.

The incident is not the first fatal crash involving autonomous technology. In May 2016 a Tesla Model S struck a tractor-trailer on a Florida highway, killing the Tesla’s driver. Government investigators highlighted an “overreliance on vehicle automation” as a contributor to the crash.

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