This just happened today here in Tempe, Arizona where they have been testing autonomous uber cars. A woman was killed riding a bike by Uber self-driving car (vehicle). The autonomous vehicle hit a woman walking outside of the crosswalk at Mill Avenue and Curry Road intersection around 10 p.m. Sunday night.
Uber has the unfortunate luck of being the first company to be attributed the first death of a pedestrian in an autonomous vehicle history. The first human death is attributed to Tesla when an AV crashed last year, and the safety driver was killed.
The driverless car has hit the roads, it is being tested all over the US, and Waymo has even started a small pilot for fully self-driving car riding in Phoenix Arizona. However, it was to Uber that an unfortunate accident causing the death of a woman pedestrian would be written in the annals of history.
Uber has not yet reached full autonomous (driverless) driving as with Waymo, so the vehicle involved in the accident was driving in fully autonomous mode but with a safety engineer sitting behind the wheel.
According to Tempe Police, the victim was Elaine Herzberg, a 49-year-old resident of Tempe, who was crossing the street when the uber self-driving car struck her. The accident occurred around 10 pm, and the Herzberg died of her wounds on the way to the hospital.
Uber has stopped all self-driving car testing in all areas until the investigation is complete and full understanding of the cause of the accident is known. Uber’s technology is different to Waymo’s, but the results of the accident will help both companies understand why such an accident occurred, why the onboard safety driver did not help why the system did not brake immediately when a proximity alert should have “sounded” within the system.