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1 of Uber's self-driving vehicles hits, kills pedestrian in Arizona

20 March 2018

Forty-nine-year-old Elaine Herzberg was killed Sunday night while crossing the street on Mill Avenue and Curry Road at around 10 p.m. when an autonomous Uber vehicle struck her, according to a statement from Tempe Police.

Uber's vehicle was in an autonomous driving mode with a human safety driver at the wheel, local police revealed.

A fatal accident involving an Uber self-driving vehicle has led to the suspension of all the company's testing programmes in what is reportedly the first fatality resulting from an autonomous auto and a pedestrian.

Hours after the crash, Uber announced the suspension of all tests of its autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh, Phoenix, San Francisco and Toronto.

Uber also said it's cooperating with Tempe police in the investigation.

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Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's CEO tweeted: "Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona".

Uber is now conducting tests of autonomous vehicles in Arizona, Pittsburgh, Toronto and other areas.

The victim was hospitalized and later died from her injuries.

A vehicle operator in the driver's seat was the only person in the Uber auto when the fatal accident occurred, according to the company.

Self-driving vehicles have been sharing the roadways with everyday drivers (and pedestrians) for almost a decade.

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There were no passengers in the vehicle, and there was one vehicle operator in the front seat, according to an Uber spokeswoman.

The vehicle involved in the incident was a Volvo XC90 SUV. "Uber is assisting and this is still an active investigation".

This isn't Uber's first accident in Tempe involving an autonomous vehicle. It suspended its testing in Arizona a year ago after another crash.

Uber has confirmed a vehicle operator was inside the auto at the time of the crash. The first fatality occurred in July 2016, when a Tesla owner was killed after its Autopilot mode failed to recognise an oncoming lorry. Although consumers have placed high levels of trust into self-driving technologies, this event could be a major setback to acceptance of autonomous vehicles.

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1 of Uber's self-driving vehicles hits, kills pedestrian in Arizona