By Allen L Phillips
An autonomous car operated by UBER was recently involved in a fatal accident with a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. Best information at this time is that the car, which had a driver to monitor operation during testing but was carrying no passengers, was traveling on a dark street with little traffic and at less than the posted speed limit when the accident happened.
A pedestrian was able to walk out in front of the vehicle without being detected by the cars sensors and video suggested that the driver was not watching the road. The car did not apply brakes prior to contact.
As a result of the accident UBER has suspended autonomous testing in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.
See the article below for comments from UBER.
Uber CEO Believes Autonomous Vehicles Still Have Future
April 12, 2018—Dara Khosrowshahi said that Uber still believes in the prospects for autonomous transport after one of its self-driving vehicles was involved in a fatal crash in Arizona, according to a report by U.S. News.
U.S. News reported that Khosrowshahi declined to say when the company might resume testing or what might have gone wrong. He said the company was cooperating with federal investigators and dealing with the incident "very seriously."
Speaking at a transport forum, Khosrowshahi said Uber was still betting on the technology in the long-term.
"We believe in it," he said, adding that Uber considered autonomous vehicles "part of the solution" and in the long-term key to eliminating individual car ownership.
"Autonomous (vehicles) at maturity will be safer," he said.
The news outlet wrote that The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the incident.
"They are a neutral party," said Khosrowshahi. "They understand this."
"We'll figure out what we do afterwards."