Uber self-driving car kills Arizona pedestrian

Uber self-driving car kills Arizona pedestrian in Phoenix. This is the first death involving a fully autonomous test vehicle.  Uber immediately excluded all road-testing of such autos in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

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The Volvo was in self-driving mode with a human backup driver at the wheel when it hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. As she was walking a bicycle outside the lines of a crosswalk, police said. She died at a hospital.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed sympathy on his Twitter account and said the company is working with local law enforcement on the investigation. Uber self-driving car kills Arizona pedestrian, realizing worst fears of this new technology.

The National Transportation Safety Board makes recommendations for preventing crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can enact regulations, sent investigators.

Tempe police Sgt Ronald Elcock said local authorities haven’t drawn any conclusions about who is at fault but urged people to use crosswalks. He told reporters at a news conference Monday the Uber vehicle was traveling around 40 mph when it hit Helzberg.

Autonomous vehicles with laser, radar and camera sensors and sophisticated computers have been billed as the way to reduce the more than 40,000 traffic deaths a year in the US alone. 94 per cent of crashes are caused by human error, the government says.

Autonomous vehicles don’t drive drunk, don’t get sleepy and aren’t easily distracted. But they do have faults.