An autonomous car operated by Uber Technologies crashed into and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, USA, on the morning of March 18, 2018.
Tempe Police say that the car was driving itself with an operator behind the wheel, when it struck a woman crossing the road, steering a bicycle. The woman, Elaine Herzberg, aged 49, later died in hospital from her injuries.
"A female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle," said the Tempe Police.
Uber made a statement on Twitter, saying that it is "fully cooperating" with the police investigation into this death and has expressed condolences to the family of the victim. The California-based company has also gone on to halt autonomous vehicle testing. Test for the self-driving car were being run in Phoenix and Tempe in Arizona, as well as some other cities in the US – Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. The tests have been running since 2016 without major incident, until now.
Vis his twitter account, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, "We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened”.
Historically, there have been crashes involving self-driving vehicles, like the well-documented incident involving a Google autonomous car in 2016. However, this incident is thought to be the first involving the death of another human being.