Pedestrian killed during Uber self-driving vehicle testing

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Autonomous vehicles generated controversy that same year when a passenger operating a Tesla Model S in "autopilot mode" died in a crash in Florida, but Uber's incident is likely the first time a bystander not driving the auto was killed by the technology.

The Uber vehicle hit Herzberg while she was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk. She later died at the hospital. No passengers were inside. Gov. Doug Ducey touted Arizona as a testing ground, saying at the time in a written statement, "Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads".

Uber announced that it is discontinuing all experiments on autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto, and Phoenix.

The New York Times reported that the fatality could be the first known fatality involving a pedestrian struck by an autonomous vehicle on public roads. Uber said it is cooperating with local authorities. National Transportation Safety Board officials also confirmed that they would be sending a team to Arizona for the ongoing investigation on social media. He noted that 6,000 pedestrians and almost 40,000 people die annually on USA roads in more than 6 million crashes annually. There was an operator in the driver's seat of the vehicle at the time of the incident although it is unknown whether any attempt was made to avoid a collision.

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FILE -A self-driving Volvo vehicle, purchased by Uber, moves through an intersection in Scottsdale, Arizona, Dec. 1, 2017. "We're enforcing the traffic laws for everyone, whether it's autonomous or regular, law-abiding citizens".

"Our hearts go out to the victim's family", Uber said today in a statement.

Last year, a crash in Arizona led to a temporary testing halt, and in 2016, Uber temporarily paused development after a self-driving vehicle ran a red light.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted his feeling about the fatal accident involving an Uber vehicle and a pedestrian.

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The committee also said the government must invest more in its own research to deal with questions of safety, such as how to ensure a driverless vehicle can safely navigate a snow-covered road.

"This tragic accident underscores why we need to be exceptionally cautious when testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technologies on public roads", he said.

According to Yahoo Finance, federal regulations allow for companies like Uber and Lyft to test autonomous vehicles, with individual states providing most of the specific regulations.

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