A self-driving Uber just killed a pedestrian

Image: Reuters/Natalie Behring
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A self-driving Uber in Tempe, Arizona, struck and killed a woman at a crosswalk yesterday (March 18), the New York Times reports.

The car was in autonomous mode, but had an Uber safety driver in the driver’s seat. The woman had walked into the street outside of a crosswalk and was hit by the car. She later died from her injuries. It’s believed that this is the first time an autonomous car has killed a pedestrian.

In the wake of the crash, Uber has now suspended all its self-driving car tests in the city, as well as in the Bay Area, Pittsburgh, and Toronto, according to The Wall Street Journal (paywall).

Uber is cooperating with the Tempe police investigation, the company told Quartz.

Uber’s self-driving cars have been involved in multiple fender-benders and traffic errors since they were first introduced to the streets of Pittsburgh in  late 2016. Almost exactly a year ago, one of its cars flipped over in Tempe while in autonomous mode.

Arizona has experienced a surge of pedestrian fatalities recently, with more than 10 in a single week of March in Phoenix alone. The state has the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the United States.