Uber and other self-driving car crashes
An Arizona woman was killed after being struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle, an incident likely to be the first of its kind. But Uber is not the only company that has experienced accidents with unmanned cars. Companies like Google, Tesla and General Motors also join the list.
FLAGSTAFF, Arizona. – A self-driving Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in a suburb of Phoenix in the first disaster involving a fully autonomous test vehicle, in which the ride-hailing company on Monday to suspend all road-testing of such cars in the U.S. and Canada.
Depending on the person who is at fault, the accident can have far-reaching consequences for the development of self-driving vehicles, which are billed as potentially safer than human drivers.
The Volvo was in self-driving mode with a human operator behind the wheel when a woman walks outside a crosswalk in Tempe on Sunday night was hit, police said. The woman, who, as Elaine Herzberg, 49, died in a hospital.
Uber suspended all self-driving car testing in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.
The test is months as automobile manufacturers and technology companies compete with each other to be the first with the technology.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed condolences on his Twitter account and said that the company is working together with the local police on the investigation.
The federal government has voluntary guidelines for companies that want to test autonomous vehicles, leaving much of the regulation up to states.
But Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao also said technology and car companies should be the elimination of the public fears of the self-driving vehicles, citing a poll showing that 78 percent of the people are afraid of driving in autonomous vehicles
The number of states are considering legislation regarding autonomous vehicles has gradually increased each year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2017 alone, 33 states introduced legislation.
California is one of those require manufacturers to report any incidents to the car department during the test phase. As of the beginning of March, the agency received 59 such reports.
This story was corrected to fix the spelling of Transportation Elaine Chao.