Arizona: Self Driving Uber Kills Pedestrian; Company Suspends Testing In Four Locations

20 March 2018 1:49 PM GMT
Arizona: Self Driving Uber Kills Pedestrian; Company Suspends Testing In Four Locations
Courtesy: NY Times, CNN, Openews24� | Image Credit: Short Pedia

A self driving Uber car killed a woman in Arizona. The incident which killed 49-year old Elaine Herzberg is said to be the first reported crash involving a self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian in the US.

It is reported that a operator was present inside the vehicle at the time of crash. Grievously injured Herzberg was taken to hospital where she died.

The company has announced that it has halted its self-driving operations in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.


Self driving Uber kills pedestrian

The police said that on Sunday, at around 10 PM, Elaine was walking outside the crosswalk with a bicycle, in Tempe, Arizona, when she was hit by the vehicle. The operator of the vehicle was identified to be Rafael Vasquez. The vehicle is said to be travelling at a speed of 40 miles an hour. Tempe sergeant, Ronald Elcock told The Guardian that from the footage it seemed that the vehicle did not slow down as it approached the woman.

In a tweet, Uber said that it was cooperating with the local authorities in the investigations



Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO tweeted:



Following a crash involving one of its vehicles, a Volvo SUV, Uber suspended its vehicles in Arizona. In 2016, these self-driving vehicles ran into trouble after the vehicles were caught jumping red lights. This lead to disputes between state regulators and Uber.

In 2016, a man driving a Tesla was killed while its autopilot system was activated. However, Tesla is partly autonomous whereas Uber’s system is designed to fully replace a human driver.

This self-driving technology is supposed to detect pedestrians, cyclists and other obstructions to prevent crashes.

John M Simpson, privacy and technology project director with Consumer Watchdog, said, “The robot cars cannot accurately predict human behavior, and the real problem comes in the interaction between humans and the robot vehicles.”

Simpson’s advocacy group called for a national moratorium on autonomous car testing in the wake of deadly collision.

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