Uber is suspending its self-driving car operations after a pedestrian riding a bike was struck and killed by one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles in Arizona overnight.
Police said Monday the vehicle involved in the fatality was in autonomous mode at the time, with an operator behind the wheel. It was heading north in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe when it hit a woman riding a bicycle.
Most news service leave this out. The bike had reflective peddles, and what carry white plastic bags with what looked like groceries or clothing.
The car should have seen her.
Emergency Food Supplies
Police say she died from her injuries at a local hospital. Police say her family hasn’t been notified yet, so they’re not releasing her name.
Uber has been testing its self-driving vehicles in the Phoenix area for months, and has testing programs in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.
In a statement, a company spokesperson said, “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also took to Twitter, writing: “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.”
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 is excited to experiment with the commercialization of self-driving tech and Freight through practical, hybrid solutions – see the video https://t.co/UuQl08e5iC. Uber’s Self-Driving Trucks Hit the Highway, but Not Local Roads https://t.co/CxEqLIZDdn
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) March 6, 2018
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,376 pedestrians were killed by cars in 2015. How cars are on the roads??? Comparing apples to oranges? This is believed to be the first fatal accident involving a self-driving vehicle.
In addition to Uber, Google’s self-driving car division, Waymo, and several major automakers are also developing autonomous vehicle technology. Uber recently paid Waymo a reported $245 million to settle a lawsuit alleging stolen trade secrets.