Major Blow For Autonomous Autos As Uber’s Self-Driving Car Kills Pedestrian

Mon 19th Mar 2018

The world’s first know pedestrian death caused by a self-driving car happened in the United States on Sunday, a major blow to the automated driving industry.

The pedestrian, a woman, was killed in Tempe, Arizona, after being hit by a self-driving car operated by Uber. Even though the vehicle had a human safety driver at the wheel, the woman, who was crossing the street , was hit after the driver and the car failed to react in time to prevent the fatality.

According to reports in the US press, Uber is said to be cooperating with the local authorities and has suspended its self-driving car program which had been testing in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

Though it is the first known pedestrian death, the United States also claimed the first overall death when a man in a Tesla Model S died after colliding with a white truck whilst the Tesla was in semi-autonomous Autopilot model. That accident was caused after the vehicle failed to make out the white truck against the bright sky.

Uber is not the only company testing self-driving cars, they are joined by Google and a number of other competitors in making autonomous driving safe for road use. Uber is also testing self-driving trucks in Arizona after it purchased company Otto.