Self-Driving Car Hits and Kills Pedestrian Outside of Phoenix
March 20, 2018
A self-driving car has hit and killed a woman in the
southwestern United States in what is believed to be the first
fatal pedestrian crash involving the new technology.
Police said Monday a self-driving sport utility vehicle owned by
the ride sharing company, Uber, struck a woman walking outside
of a crosswalk in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. They say the
episode happened overnight Sunday to Monday and say the woman
later died from her injuries in a hospital.
Uber said it had suspended its autonomous vehicle program across
the United States and Canada following the accident.
Police say the vehicle was in autonomous mode, but had an
operator behind the wheel, when the accident took place.
Testing of self-driving cars by various companies has been going
on for months in the Phoenix area, as well as Pittsburgh, San
Francisco and Toronto as automakers and technology companies
compete to be the first to introduce the new technology.
U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National
Transportation Safety Board said they are sending a team to
gather information about the crash.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed condolences on Twitter and
said the company is working with local law enforcement on the
The fatal crash will most likely raise questions about
regulations for self-driving cars. Arizona has offered little
regulations for the new technology, which has led to many
technology companies flocking to the state to test their
Proponents of the new technology argue that self-driving cars
will prove to be safer than human drivers, because the cars will
not get distracted and will obey all traffic laws. However,
critics have expressed concerns about the safety of the
technology, including the ability of the autonomous technology
to deal with unpredictable events.
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