Uber suspends self-driving vehicle tests after autonomous car kills pedestrian

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an autonomous uber car fatally struck a pedestrian in tempe, arizona on march 18, 2018, marking the first incident of a pedestrian death caused by a self-driving vehicle. the ridesharing service began testing in the southwestern US city back in february 2017, but has now suspended its operations in the aftermath of the crash. ‘our hearts go out to the victim’s family,’ uber tweeted in response. ‘we’re fully cooperating with @tempepolice and local authorities as they investigate this incident.’

 

according to ABC15, tempe police confirmed that the vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash and that a vehicle operator was behind the wheel. no passengers were in the vehicle at the time. meanwhile, the national transportation safety board said in a statement: the NTSB is sending a team to tempe, arizona, to investigate the fatal collision of an uber vehicle and a pedestrian that occurred on sunday. the uber vehicle was part of the company’s self-driving fleet of vehicles. the investigation will address the vehicle’s interaction with the environment, other vehicles and vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

‘the city of tempe has been supportive of autonomous vehicle testing because of the innovation and promise the technology may offer in many areas, including transportation options for disabled residents and senior,’ tempe mayor mayor mark mitchell said in a statement. ‘testing must occur safely. all indications we have had in the past show that traffic laws are being obeyed by the companies testing here. our city leadership and tempe police will pursue any and all answers to what happened in order to ensure safety moving forward.’