Uber suspends self-driving car tests after fatality in Arizona

By TechnologyFOXBusiness

In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, a self-driving Uber sits ready to take journalists for a ride during a media preview in Pittsburgh. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence for an unspecified period and let his leadership tea

Uber said on Monday that it will suspend tests of self-driving cars after a woman was struck and killed by one of the vehicles.

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Police in Tempe, Arizona, said the Uber car was operating in autonomous mode with a human safety driver behind the wheel at the time of the accident. The pedestrian was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk. The investigation is ongoing, police said.

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

In a post on Twitter, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, “Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.”

The fatal accident, which occurred Sunday night, is the first pedestrian death from a driverless car.

Uber has been testing self-driving cars in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. Tests in all four cities were halted after the incident.

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The ride-hailing company is among the many technology firms and automakers, including Alphabet, Apple and General Motors, that are developing autonomous vehicles. Khosrowshahi has said Uber could deploy self-driving taxis as early as 2019.

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