A self-driving car being tested by Uber in Arizona has been involved in the first road fatality by such vehicles. The car is said to have hit and killed a pedestrian walking by the roadside, although details of the incident are still unknown.
It is said that the Uber vehicle had a human controller behind the wheel, but was operating in autonomous mode when the accident happened. The victim, 49 year-old Elaine Herzberg, was taken to a hospital where she died of her injuries.
Uber has currently suspended all testing of its self-driving fleet pending an investigation. The company is also cooperating with local law enforcement authorities.
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. https://t.co/cwTCVJjEuz
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) March 19, 2018
The cause of the accident is entirely unknown at the moment, but it could lead to the first case of a death caused by a self-driving car. If this is the case, it will be a real test of who is actually responsible for the actions of a driverless car. A question that has been raised multiple times, yet never answered.