An Arizona pedestrian has been killed by an Uber in self-driving mode, marking the first known pedestrian fatality by an autonomous vehicle.
- Quick details: The incident happened around 10 p.m. local time on Sunday, the N.Y. Times reports. The pedestrian was reportedly crossing the street outside the crosswalk.
- For comparison: The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in motor crashes in the U.S. in 2017.
- Statement from Uber: “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident."
- The fallout: Uber has halted self-driving tests in Pittsburgh, Tempe, San Francisco and Toronto.
Why it matters, from Axios' Steve LeVine: Virtually every major car company on the planet, in addition to numerous startups and tech companies, are doing live testing of self-driving vehicles — and pushing policy officials to allow them to do so.
Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory, urged a freeze on the tech while companies figure out what's going on.
"This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet... This is the nightmare all of us working in this domain always worried about."— Raj Rajkumar to Axios' Steve LeVine