Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian In The US

by Abel Hampton March 21, 2018, 3:23
Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian In The US

Uber has suspended its driverless vehicle testing on public roads in the USA after a pedestrian was struck and killed by one of its test cars.

She was hit by the vehicle in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday night at around 10:00 p.m.

Police said the woman, who has been identified as Elaine Herzberg, had not been using a pedestrian crossing at the time of the accident.

Uber has suspended all the test vehicles and autos in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

California has not said whether the fatal incident in Tempe will affect its plans to allow unmanned self-driving cars to begin tests as early as next month.

Though many in the industries had been dreading a fatal crash, they knew it was inevitable.

Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Ronald Elcock said impairment did not initially appear to be a factor for either Vasquez or Herzberg.

The New York Times notes that the incident could be the first pedestrian ever killed by a self-driving vehicle.

Neither the operator nor the victim showed signs of impairment, according to Elcock.

Reuters Insider-Woman hit by Uber was walking bicycle -police (graphic).

Analysts say the technology has the potential to reduce accidents and expand transportation options for the disabled and elderly, but some have warned that the technology is not ready and urged regulators to introduce more stringent safety tests.

The carmaker said it could not speculate on the cause of the crash or what it may mean to the future of the nascent automated driving sector. Arizona's self-driving vehicle oversight committee, or which Biesty is a member, has not planned any meetings or actions, he said.

Either way, the fatality could hurt the technology's image and lead to a push for more regulations at the state and federal levels, Professor Smith said. In 2017 alone, 33 states introduced legislation. But they do have faults.

"We need to be fair and look at all the data", she said.

The U.S. House has already approved a bill, called the Self Drive Act, which would pave the way for companies to deploy thousands of new self-driving cars on America's roads. In 2016, the latest full year for which data is available, 448 pedestrians were killed by vehicles on United Kingdom roads, and more than 6,000 in the US.

This upward trend in pedestrian deaths is, sadly, not new; pedestrian fatalities have climbed steadily in 6 out of the 7 years between 2009 and 2016, resulting in almost 2,000 more deaths per year in 2016 than in 2009, according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit implemented to address behavioral safety issues among drivers.

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