Uber halts self-driving program after pedestrian fatality

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The Uber autonomous driving program has been suspended after a 49-year-old woman in Tempe, Arizona, was killed after she was hit by a car as she crossed the street.

Self-driving cars have been involved in multiple accidents, but the pedestrian fatality is believed to be the first in the autonomous realm.

Uber has suspended its autonomous vehicle program after a woman was killed after being hit in Tempe, Arizona, by a vehicle in self-driving mode.
Uber has suspended its autonomous vehicle program after a woman was killed after being hit in Tempe, Arizona, by a vehicle in self-driving mode.

Uber said it had ceased its autonomous program throughout North America.

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The accident, according to law enforcement accounts, occurred late in the evening on March 19 when the vehicle was autonomous mode. The vehicle also had a driver.

Elaine Herzberg, the victim, wasn’t using a pedestrian crossing. She was transported to a local hospital where she died.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board said they were sending teams to Tempe to investigate the accident.

Uber started testing driverless cars in Pittsburgh in 2016. The ride-hailing firm has programs in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and the Phoenix area, which includes Tempe.

The death comes a year after the took its self-driving cars off the road following an accident that left a Volvo SUV on its side in Arizona. The program was later reinstated.

An Uber spokeswoman said the company is “fully complying” with authorities.

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