Self-driving Uber car kills a woman in the road accident
An Uber’s autonomous vehicle hit and killed a woman crossing the street in Arizona, Southwestern United States. After the incident, the globally renowned ride-hailing company has decided to suspends its self-driving operations in the US and Canada, as reported by The Guardian.
This is regarded as the first fatality involving an autonomous vehicle and a potential blow to the technology expected to transform transportation. The self-driving car dubbed Volvo XC90 SUV was in autonomous mode when it hit a woman named Elaine Herzberg, aged 49 years, who was walking outside of the crosswalk and later died at a hospital, according to the reports of police of Tempe, Arizona. However, the reports say that there was an operator behind the wheel as well, at the time of the crash.
A statement by Uber reads; “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”
However, Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir believes that it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) because of the pedestrian came right on the highway out of nowhere instantly.
Uber has confirmed that it is temporarily stopped its self-driving operations in all cities where it’s been testing its vehicles, including Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.
Democratic Senator of the US, Edward Markey says,
“This tragic accident underscores why we need to be exceptionally cautious when testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technologies on public roads.”
Most companies working on self-driving cars tout the vehicles as a potentially safer alternative to human drivers. And, for the most part, testing of the technology has shown the cars to be safe. However, tragic incidents like these are a potential threat to the development of autonomous vehicle industry.