Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian, tests halted

A self-driving Volvo being tested by Uber killed a  49-year-old woman crossing the road around 10 pm on Sunday in Tempe, Arizona — probably the first such accident in the US. Elaine Herzberg, 49, was taken to a hospital where she died from the injuries. Uber has suspended tests of self-driving vehicles in Arizona state and the cities of Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto after the accident. Tempe police said a safety driver was behind the wheel at the time of crash, adding that there were no passengers inside. Uber said: “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We’re fully cooperating with @TempePolice and local authorities as they investigate this incident.” Uber started testing self-driving cars in Tempe early last year.  Local police have started their own probe while investigators of the National Transportation Safety Board are heading to Tempe. If the fault lies with the self-driving vehicle, this incident could have far-reaching impact on the development of such vehicles. Self-driving vehicles are seen as safer than human drivers. Of 5,984 pedestrian fatalities recorded by Governors Highway Safety Association in 2017, none have been linked to a self-driving vehicle.  Tests of such vehicles have been going on in northern US cities for some time.