Uber Car Reportedly in Autonomous Mode Strikes and Kills a Pedestrian

This is likely the first time a pedestrian has been killed by a self-driving car.
March 19, 2018, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A woman was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber as she crossed a street Sunday night Tempe, and the company has suspended its autonomous testing," report Gabrielle Olivera and Ryan Randazzo. Uber also suspended operations in other cities where the company is testing self-driving cars.

"Sgt. Ronald Elcock, a Tempe police spokesman, said the car was on autonomous mode with a driver behind the wheel when it hit the pedestrian," according to the article.

The New York Times also reported the news, where Daisuke Wakabayashi reports that the incident "appears to be the first known death of a pedestrian struck by an autonomous vehicle on public roads."

The tragedy comes only a few weeks after a potentially momentous step forward for autonomous vehicles technology, after the state of California cleared the way for autonomous vehicles to operate without a human operator onboard the vehicle. Obviously, in this instance, the human operator wasn't enough to guarantee pedestrian safety.

Update: Henry Grabar's article on the tragedy has the most complete coverage of the incident and its possible implications.

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Published on Monday, March 19, 2018 in The Arizona Republic
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