Driverless Uber car kills female pedestrian in first deadly crash

James Titcomb
Footage from the scene - ABC15 Arizona

A driverless Uber car has killed a pedestrian in Arizona in what is believed to be the first death involving an autonomous vehicle.

The crash occurred in the city of Tempe on Monday morning. Local police said the car was in self-driving mode with a safety driver at the wheel when it hit a woman crossing the road. Nobody else was in the vehicle.

Uber said it had suspended tests of its self-driving vehicles in Tempe, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Toronto, the four North American cities where it is testing the technology.

Its chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted:  "We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened."

Local news reports said the victim was a bicyclist, although local police said she was on foot Credit: ABC15 Arizona

Uber started testing a driverless car service in Pittsburgh in 2016 and has been testing on Tempe's roads for the last year.

An Uber spokesman said: "Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully co-operating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident."

The Tempe police department said the woman was transferred to a local hospital where she passed away from her injuries. It said Uber was co-operating with an investigation. 

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