Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Self-driving Uber runs over pedestrian

Self-driving Uber runs over pedestrian

She later died at the hospital.

Reports from The Associated Press indicate that a self-driving Uber vehicle in Tempe was in autonomous mode with a human operator behind the wheel when it struck a woman who had walked into the street. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey originally welcomed new technology declaring, "Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads".

It is believed to be the first death involving a pedestrian and a self-driving vehicle on public roads.

In a tweet, it expressed its condolences and said the company was fully cooperating with authorities. The National Transportation Safety Board is also sending a team to investigate the crash.

The self-driving cars are supposed to detect pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles to prevent crashes.

Concerns over the safety of autonomous vehicles increased in July 2016 after a fatality involving a partially autonomous Tesla automobile.

An Uber spokesperson confirmed to TIME that the incident occurred Sunday night in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe and that no passengers were in the backseat.

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Wakabayashi said this could be the first pedestrian killed by an autonomous vehicle. "We're enforcing the traffic laws for everyone, whether it's autonomous or regular, law-abiding citizens".

"Our hearts go out to the victim's family", a company spokeswoman said on Twitter. Autonomous cars are already being tested in more than 30 cities around the world, with companies plowing more than $80 billion into research and development.

In a statement, the NHTSA said it is "in contact with Uber, Volvo, federal, state and local authorities regarding the incident" and will take appropriate action.

The fatal accident was the company's third incident involving a self-driving auto.

Nonetheless, at least one prominent researcher is calling for the breakneck race to get self-driving cars on the road to come to a halt.

In recent years, Uber has made a push in the autonomous vehicle market space by testing the technology as the future of ride sharing.

Uber has been testing its driverless vehicles since August 2016 in several USA states, where road laws permit, as well as in Canada.

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