Uber pauses autonomous car tests after fatal crash in Arizona

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Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A self-driving car from Uber Technologies hit and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday evening, what is likely the first pedestrian fatality involving a driverless vehicle.

The woman was crossing the road when the Uber vehicle struck her, according to the Tempe Police Department. She was transferred to a local hospital where she died from her injuries, the police said.

"The vehicle involved is one of the Uber's self-driving vehicles," Liliana Duran, a spokeswoman from the Tempe police, said in an emailed statement:

It was in autonomous mode at the time of the collision, with a vehicle operator behind the wheel. The vehicle was traveling northbound just south of Curry Road when a female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle.

"Uber is assisting and this is still an active investigation," Duran added.

Uber said Monday that it was halting tests of all its autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto and the greater Phoenix area.

"Our hearts go out to the victim's family," a company spokeswoman said in a statement. "We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident."

-- Bloomberg News with Ad Age staff

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