Self-driving Uber car in Arizona hits, kills bicyclist

March 19, 2018

A self-driving car being tested in suburban Phoenix hit and killed a woman on Sunday, in the first reported fatality between an autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian.

The Uber test vehicle, a Volvo XC90, reportedly hit a female cyclist outside of a crosswalk in Tempe, Arizona. According to Tempe police, the XC90 had a driver behind the wheel but was in autonomous mode, ABC 15 reported.

“She was transported to a local area hospital where she passed away from her injuries,” Tempe police told AZFamily.com

Uber says that it will immediately suspend its self-driving vehicle testing.

The incident in Tempe wasn't the first involving an XC90 from Uber's fleet of test vehicles. Last year, a vehicle pulled out in front of an Uber XC90 and caused the self-driving vehicle to roll on its side. There were no injuries in that incident, however.

"Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident," Uber said in a statement issued to Fox 10 Phoenix

The fatal accident reportedly occurred near the intersection of Mill Road and East Curry Road not far from the campus of Arizona State University. Images from Tempe show a bicycle on a sidewalk, but little damage is visible to the XC90 test vehicle.

Uber has been testing the self-driving Volvo crossovers in Tempe, as well as in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto. In Arizona, self-driving cars are not required to have a human backup in the driver's seat, although that wasn't the case with the XC90 in Tempe.

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