Self-Driving Uber Car Reportedly Kills Pedestrian

Self-driving cars may be the way of the future, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be unfortunate situations like this. Arizona officials report that a woman was killed after being struck in a Phoenix suburb by a self-driving Uber vehicle this weekend. And this is the first incident of this kind.

The accident caused the company (Uber) to suspend all testing of self-driving vehicles in cities across the country. Police Sgt. Ronald Elcock told Fox News that the victim, Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking outside of a crosswalk when she was struck by the vehicle just before 10 p.m.

Herzberg was taken to a nearby hospital, where she later died. The self-driving Uber was in autonomous mode driving around 40 mph at the time of the collision. There was a driver behind the wheel who was identified as 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez. He’s been cooperating in the investigation and was not found to have been impaired at the time of the accident according to police. Uber Tweeted out a statement saying the company is fully cooperating with local authorities as the investigation occurs.

Other cities that are testing self-driving vehicles include Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto and the greater Phoenix. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to investigate the crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a statement to Reuters it is “in contact with Uber, Volvo, federal, state and local authorities regarding the incident,” and will take appropriate action. The federal government has voluntary guidelines for companies that want to test autonomous vehicles, leaving much of the regulation up to states.