An Uber self-driving car has struck and killed a woman pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, the company revealed today.
The accident took place while the car was in autonomous (self-driving) mode, marking this the first death caused by a self-driving vehicle in the world.
Local TV station ABC15 identified the victim as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. The Uber vehicle hit Herzberg while she was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk.
An ambulance transported the victim to a hospital where the woman later succumbed to her wounds.
Uber pulls all self-driving cars
The vehicle involved in the incident was a Volvo XC90 SUV. The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter it was sending a team to investigate the accident.
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” Uber said today in a statement. “We’re fully cooperating with Tempe Police and local authorities as they investigate this incident.”
The company suspended its self-driving program and withdrew all autonomous cars from US roads.
Uber had been testing cars in Tempe for a year
Uber launched its self-driving research program in 2015 and had deployed cars on roads in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto. Only two weeks ago, the company had successfully reported that self-driving trucks were successfully moving cargo.
Tempe and Arizona have been a testbed for self-driving technologies thanks to state laws that allowed self-driving cars on city roads.
Uber began testing self-driving cars in Tempe in February 2017. Google has been operating in the state for years. Uber was also testing its self-driving truck on Arizona roads as…