A woman in Tempe, Arizona, was struck and killed on Sunday night by a self-driving Uber car as she walked across the street

By Caitlin Keating
March 19, 2018 04:56 PM
Advertisement

A woman in Tempe, Arizona, was struck and killed Sunday night by a self-driving Uber car as she crossed the street, The New York Times reports.

Following the accident, which occurred around 10:00 p.m. yesterday, Uber suspended testing of their self-driving cars in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

Numerous news outlets, including NBC News and the Associated Press, identified the woman as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who died from her injuries at the hospital.

2090BD09
Credit: Chris Carlson/AP/Shutterstock

“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident,” Uber wrote in a statement on Twitter on Monday.

According to the Tempe Police Department, the car was in autonomous mode with a human safety driver at the wheel when the woman was struck while crossing the street outside of a crosswalk.

Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, tweeted about the incident on Monday, writing: “Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happen.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are sending teams to Tempe to investigate the incident.

The incident is believed to be the first known death of a pedestrian by an autonomous vehicle, according to several outlets.

Uber launched their self-driving vehicles in the fall of 2016. “Automated technology is already a part of our daily lives. At Uber, we’ve got lots of people helping to get hundreds of our self-driving cars out on the road. Thanks to them, we’ve logged over 1 million miles under their tires,” the company wrote in October 2017.

The self-driving vehicles include 360 degree cameras, lasers, and radars, according to Uber. “Our vehicle operators are extensively trained to handle everything from a thunderstorm to a gaggle of geese crossing the road so you can ride comfortably knowing that our team is committed to keeping you safe,” the company wrote.