Uber is suspending its tests of autonomous vehicles after one of its driverless cars struck and killed a pedestrian in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe.
David Royse | LedeTree
It was believed to be the first fatality of a pedestrian caused by a self-driving car. Police identified the victim as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg.
“”We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Twitter.
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
According to Tempe police, the vehicle was in autonomous mode, though there was a safety driver in the driver’s seat.
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 addition to Tempe, Uber has been testing driverless vehicles in San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Toronto. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday the company was suspending its autonomous program in those cities as well.
In the wake of the accident, California regulators were in a difficult spot. Autonomous vehicle testing there currently requires human drivers – but that’s set to change in just a couple of weeks. Starting April 2, companies can test completely driverless cars there.
California DMV officials told the San Francisco Chronicle Monday afternoon that the state is seeking more information on the Arizona crash from Uber.