Police have confirmed that a woman in Arizona, was hit by an Uber self-driving car, later dying of her injuries in the hospital, in what is believed to possibly be the first instance of a self-driving car killing a person who was not inside the vehicle.
According to ABC 15, police confirmed that Uber’s Arizona test car was in its self-driving mode when the accident occurred, but a self-driver had been behind the wheel, as safety protocol dictates; however, there were no other passengers within the car at the time.
On social media, Uber issued a statement confirming that the company was aware of what had happened and that they would work with police in the ongoing investigation. National Transportation Safety Board officials also confirmed that they would be sending a team to Arizona for the ongoing investigation on social media.
What have people been saying about the incident?
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also issued the following statement on Twitter:
“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.”
According to USA Today, John Simpson, the privacy and technology project director at Consumer Watchdog, also issued the following statements:
“There should be a national moratorium on all robot car testing on public roads until the complete details of this tragedy are made public and are analyzed by outside experts so we understand what went so terribly wrong.”
“Arizona has been the wild west of robot car testing with virtually no regulations in place.”
“That’s why Uber and Waymo test there. When there’s no sheriff in town, people get killed.”
The Arizona Republic also confirmed that Uber has “paused” its operations of self-driving cars for the time being and did not dispute police reports.
Mayor Mark Mitchell of Arizona also issued the following statement:
What was Elaine Herzberg’s official cause of death?
Although police confirmed that Herzberg had died in the hospital following the incident, as the investigation is still ongoing, her official cause of death in unverified.
As this story is still developing, more information will be developed as made available.