Uber has been testing its self-driving cars on public roads in Arizona for quite some time now and while there have been reports of its cars getting into minor accidents, they had never been involved in a fatal accident until today. A female pedestrian was killed earlier today after being struck by an autonomous Uber car in Tempe, Arizona. Tempe Police have confirmed that the car was in autonomous mode when the accident happened.
The accident took place near Mill Avenue and Curry Road earlier this morning in Tempe, Arizona. The car was northbound when it struck a woman walking outside of the crosswalk. The woman was rushed to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Police have identified the victim as 49 year old Elaine Herzberg.
Uber has also confirmed that the car was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash but there was a human safety driver behind the wheel. That’s a legal requirement for self-driving cars that are putting their tech to the test on public roads.
A spokesperson for the company has added that there was no one else in the vehicle except the female safety driver and she was not hurt in this accident. No further details have been revealed about the driver and police have now taken possession of the vehicle.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into this crash and dispatched a team to Tempe. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has tweeted out condolences to the affected family and said that Uber is working with local law enforcement to figure out what happened.