Uber's Self-driving vehicle kills Woman in Arizona

It's believed to be the first fatality involving a fully autonomous vehicle.

Governor Ducey's office expressed sympathy for Herzberg's family and said safety is the top priority.

Uber says that it has suspended all self-driving vehicle tests, including those in other cities from Toronto to San Francisco, while it investigates what went wrong in Tempe. A human monitor was also behind the wheel.

The victim, Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking her bike outside of the crosswalk.

Herzberg, who had reportedly been pushing a bicycle weighed down by plastic bags, was taken from the scene unconscious and was pronounced dead from her injuries at a nearby hospital. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have launched probes. In 2015, the state created specific zones for self-driving vehicle development on rural and suburban streets.

Many states across America have welcomed the tests in the hope of keeping themselves at the forefront of new technology. Though the government sees potential in the technology, many researchers and experts believe that automakers have been rushing to deploy the technology. They have been testing their vehicles and technology on public roads.

Toyota said in a statement it was temporarily suspending its testing on USA public roads for the benefit of its test drivers. The SUV was in autonomous mode at the time of the accident.

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"We are working with City of Boston officials to ensure that our automated vehicle pilots continue to adhere to high standards of safety".

- So far, 21 US states plus the District of Columbia have enacted legislation related to autonomous vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. With the right testing and technology, self-driving cars could still join their ranks.

Uber has since suspended all testing of its autonomous vehicles in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto. A self-driving auto from Uber killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. The programme was later reinstated. The vehicle was most likely going about 38 miles (61 kilometres) per hour, Moir said.

She also said the fatality should be considered in the context of all accidents.

However it should also be noted that more than 37,000 people were killed on USA roads in 2016, and pedestrian deaths rose 9 percent, according to NHTSA. "But I don't think anybody is taking this lightly". But concerns would force more scrutiny of the technology to further minimize the odds of accident occurrence.

The Uber crash appears to have impacted other companies testing autonomous vehicles.

  • Sonia Alvarado