Uber Suspends All Autonomous Vehicle Tests After Fatal Accident

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Follow on: Google +

Uber said it would temporarily stop all its autonomous vehicle testing while it investigates a fatal crash in Arizona

Uber confirmed it has temporarily suspended all its self-driving car tests after one of its vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona while in autonomous mode.

The fatality in Tempe, Arizona, which occurred overnight, is thought to be the first caused by an autonomous vehicle on public roads.

“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” Uber said in a statement. “We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”

Tempe police said the vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash, with a human safety driver but no passengers.

Tests suspended

In a prepared statement, the city’s police department said the fatality involved a female crossing the street outside of the crosswalk.

“She was transported to a local area hospital where she passed away from her injuries,” police stated. “Her next of kin has not been notified yet so her name is not being released at this time. Uber is assisting and this is still an active investigation.”

Uber confirmed it is suspending tests in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

The company’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said the incident was “incredibly sad”.

“We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened,” he said in a Twitter message.

The US’ National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating the accident.

What do you know about Uber, its innovations and controversies?Try our quiz!