TEMPE, Ariz. (BRAIN) — A self-driving Uber car hit and killed a pedestrian Sunday night here, according to New York Times reporter Daisuke Wakabayashi’s twitter feed <https://twitter.com/daiwaka>.
According to a Tempe Police report, the Uber car was operating in autonomous mode though there was a human safety driver in the vehicle. Wakabayashi said this could be the first pedestrian killed by an autonomous vehicle. Wakabayashi’s first tweet identified the woman struck as a cyclist, as did the first local Tempe news reports. But police reports corrected to a female pedestrian.
Responding to the accident, Uber has paused its autonomous driving tests on public roads in Arizona as well as in the cities of San Francisco, Toronto, and Pittsburgh.
The US National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation into the crash and is sending a team to Tempe according to the Board’s Twitter feed.
California plans to issue permits starting on April 2 approving fully driverless testing of autonomous vehicles on state roads. Whether this accident will pause this timeline is not clear at this point.
Editor’s note: Matt Wiebe wrote about autonomous vehicles and the bike industry in the March 15 issue of Bicycle Retailer.