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Autonomous Uber prototype kills pedestrian on public road

20 March 2018

A self-driving auto from Uber Technologies Inc. struck a woman who died Monday in Tempe, Ariz., in what is the first known fatality of a pedestrian from a driverless vehicle.

It was reported that earlier this morning, an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. She later died at a hospital.

The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode, with an operator behind the wheel, when it hit a woman walking in the street in the city of Tempe, according to the San Francisco-based company. No passengers were inside.

A self-driving Uber auto hit and killed a pedestrian Sunday night here, according to New York Times reporter Daisuke Wakabayashi's twitter feed.

Uber launched its self-driving research program in 2015 and had deployed cars on roads in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto.

This isn't Uber's first accident in Tempe involving an autonomous vehicle.

Uber expressed condolences to Herzberg's family and says it is working with local law enforcement on the investigation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already sent a crash investigation team out to the scene.

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

Pictured the Arizona self driving Uber vehicle that killed Elaine Herzberg.Elaine Herzberg Arizona pedestrian death puts focus back on viability of self driving Uber program.

Uber Comms, Uber's PR page on Twitter posted, "Our hearts go out to the victim's family".

"If you're driving a auto, you don't need a fish and game permit". In 2016, the driver of a self-driving Tesla vehicle was killed after he repeatedly ignored the car's warnings to get his hands on the wheel.

Nearly exactly one year ago, Uber suspended its self-driving testing in Arizona following a crash (see video).

However, two Democratic U.S. senators on Thune's committee, Ed Markey of MA and Richard Blumenthal of CT, said the Uber incident demands a tough response. California also requires companies to report all crashes involving their test cars.

Autonomous mode means the vehicle is driving on its own. Alphabet's Waymo and General Motors have both been testing in the Phoenix area due to its friendly stance towards self-driving vehicles.

Autonomous Uber prototype kills pedestrian on public road