Uber Self-Driving Vehicle Hits, Kills Pedestrian In Tempe

Self-Driving Uber Car Crashes In Arizona — Kills Pedestrian

A woman died in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday following a collision with an autonomous Uber vehicle, and the company has since halted all of its self-driving operations. Other companies testing various forms of autonomous vehicles in many places and phases-ranging from General Motors to Google's Waymo, from Domino's to Tesla-are likely to re-examine or at least pause in the pace of their trials to evaluate what happened to the female victim, whose identity hasn't been made public.

It is believed to be the first pedestrian death associated with self-driving technology.

This acts as an alarming call that fully autonomous technology is not ready to be in the midst of public yet and shows the flaws in federal government's regulations on allowing the testing.

Daimler AG, the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz, has also reached an agreement with Uber to include the German company's self-driving vehicles on its ride-hailing network in the "coming years".

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Which is not to say that we should pull the plug on autonomous driving.

"The pedestrian was outside of the crosswalk".

The police officer who attended the media said the pedestrian had been outside the crosswalk and the moment she walked into the lane of traffic she was hit.

The vehicle was a modified Volvo XC90, which Uber had modified to make suitable for its development needs.

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After viewing videos of the incident, Tempe police chief Sylvia Moir told the San Francisco Chronicle "It's very clear this would have been hard to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway".

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office will ultimately determine whether any charges will be filed in the crash. Canada's transportation ministry in Ontario, where Uber conducts testing, also said it was reviewing the accident. During tests, a person sits behind the wheel as a safeguard. Initial reports indicate Uber is unlikely to be at fault, but such details will not placate detractors of self-driving technology. Toyota has no concerns about the safety of its own autonomous systems.

Who else is testing self-driving cars? "When there's no sheriff in town, people get killed", said John M Simpson, privacy and technology project director, Consumer Watchdog. Hundreds of vehicles with automated driving systems have been on Arizona's roads. There were no injuries. A month later, Uber suspended its entire self-driving auto program while it investigated an accident involving an autonomous SUV, which was later found to not be at fault.

"When we evaluated other companies vehicles, they had more relaxed safety standards", he told reporters, adding that Hyundai is taking more time than rivals to develop autonomous technology to guarantee safety. Uber is just one of several companies developing driverless cars.

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