On 18 March 2018, a self-driving Uber vehicle killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona. It is the first reported fatal crash involving a self-driving uber vehicle and a pedestrian in the US. The 49-year-old victim has been identified as Elaine Herzberg and who was walking outside of the crosswalk on a bicycle when she was hit at around 10pm on Sunday. The self-driving technology is supposed to detect pedestrians, cyclists and others and prevent crashes where such accidents have clearly put a question mark on the autonomous car testing programs.
According to the police, “Vehicle has been identified as the 2017 Volvo SUV which was traveling at roughly 40 miles an hour, and though its auto driving was on it did not appear to slow down as it approached the woman.”
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.” A spokesman declined to comment further on the crash.
The company said it was pausing its self-driving car operations in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO, tweeted: “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.”
In the past Tesla Motors disclosed a death involving a self-driving car in 2016 when the sensors of a Model S driving in autopilot mode failed to detect a large white 18-wheel truck and trailer crossing the highway. The car drove full speed under the trailer, causing the collision that killed the 40-year-old behind the wheel in the Tesla.