Uber Halts Driverless Tests Following Fatal Crash

An Uber driverless car struck and killed a person in Tempe, Arizona. Uber halted all tests.

Tempe Police says the vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash and a vehicle operator was also behind the wheel. No passengers were in the vehicle at the time.

Uber has paused self-driving operations in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto, which is a standard move, the company says.

Bloomberg notes the woman was crossing the road outside of a crosswalk when the Uber vehicle, operating in autonomous mode under the supervision of a human safety driver, struck her, according to the Tempe Police Department.

Bicyclist or Pedestrian?

Several stories say a bicyclist was killed, others say a pedestrian. It may have been a pedestrian walking a bicycle.

Here's the answer.

The fact remains that driverless cars have a better safety record than human-driven cars. Also, recall there was a safety driver behind the wheel who could have but didn't take over.

Had this not involved an autonomous car, this would not be in any news.

These Tweets are from people who have the correct attitude.

This was bound to happen at some point and it is hardly surprising that Uber is the company. However, It's highly likely no one is to blame but the woman stepping in front of a car.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


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Grumblenose, I would expect the car was aware of the lady, but if the code is supposed to assume every pedestrian is a potential accident, then the only solution would be to drive at 2-4MPH every time a pedestrian is within range.


If the lady stepped out without warning, I don't know what any system, human or autonomous, could do. I was talking with my family about it yesterday --- I was imagining a situation driving, even only 30 MPH down Michigan Ave in Chicago during a busy weekend. There will be pedestrians walking up and down both sidewalks, at intersections, and likely trying to run across the street not at crosswalks. If there is no safety in mind by the pedestrian, or is distracted and walks out into traffic, nothing will ever prevent that. Anyone in any situation can walk out in front of a car or bus at the last second and get killed without giving the driver any chance to react.