For the first time, a self-driving autonomous vehicle has killed a person. The accident occurred in Tempe, Arizona overnight, when the Uber vehicle struck a woman walking outside of the crosswalk. The woman was taken to the hospital where she died from her injuries.
Consequently, Uber has paused all of its self-driving vehicle pilot operations in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto and is cooperating with local authorities. Uber confirms that the vehicle was traveling in autonomous mode with a safety driver behind the wheel during the crash.
In 2016, a Tesla driver was killed when his car crashed into a tractor-trailer while in semi-autonomous mode. However, it was later determined that the driver ignored warnings to keep his hands on the steering wheel and made no effort to brake or swerve.
The Tempe crash appears to be the first time that a person has died due to a self-driving car’s algorithm rather than human error. And I bet these accidents will also become a new normality!