The first time ever, an autonomous car has a killed a pedestrian. A female pedestrian was struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle last night in Tempe, Arizona. She later died from her injuries in hospital.
Uber have been testing their autonomous vehicles and often have tested them in challenging conditions to help the technology learn to navigate through a variety of environments. Uber and other developers have hopes autonomous vehicles would represent the future of transport, however, the specific Uber program has been now suspended.
Tempe PD confirmed despite a vehicle operator sitting behind the wheel of the car, it was in autonomous mode.
Uber tweeted its condolences this afternoon:
Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We’re fully cooperating with @TempePolice and local authorities as they investigate this incident.
— Uber Comms (@Uber_Comms) March 19, 2018
In a statement from Tempe police, they said, “The vehicle was travelling northbound … when a female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle.”
Uber CEO Dara Khorrowshahi separately 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. https://t.co/cwTCVJjEuz
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) March 19, 2018
Uber have been testing their autonomous taxi since February 2016. There have been crashes involving the self-driving vehicle before, but this is the first fatal collision caused by the autonomous vehicle striking the victim.