Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Arizona

Uber Car in Self-Driving Mode Kills Woman in Arizona

An Uber car in self-driving mode has killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona. Details remain scarce and initial accounts vary as to whether the victim was walking or biking at the moment of impact. A human was behind the wheel but was not driving when the collision occurred, according to Uber.

This marks the first time a car in self-driving mode has killed someone outside the vehicle. But the detection of people walking or biking is a known weak point in the development of autonomous cars.

Arizona is one of the major testing grounds for self-driving cars, in part because the state has wide roads with relatively few pedestrians, which are easier for autonomous cars to navigate, though automotive companies are also testing the vehicles in more complex environments. Uber is suspending its autonomous vehicle testing in Tempe, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and San Francisco.

Now that someone has been killed by a self-driving car, questions that seemed like hypotheticals are all too real. Will Uber be held liable for this loss of life? Can these vehicles be safely tested in urban environments where people get around by walking and biking?

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Friday’s Headlines Take Me to the River

Politico reports that the Biden administration is investing $2.5 billion in updating aging Mississippi River locks and dams like this one in Iowa. Transporting freight by barge produces less emissions than trucks or even rail.

July 12, 2024

Friday Video: Take a Spin on Boston’s Electric Cargo Bike Share

Can't afford a $7,000 Urban Arrow cargo e-bike ? In Boston, you can now rent one for just a few bucks.

July 12, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Electrify the Rails

Adrianna Rizzo of Californians for Electric Rail on California's looming lobbyist-fueled hydrogen train mistake: "We’re locking in low service for potentially decades."

July 11, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines Drive Less

Seems obvious that the more people drive, the more likely they are to die in a crash or kill someone else, but traditional thinking on traffic safety doesn't always follow that logic, according to Planetizen.

July 11, 2024
See all posts