The world’s largest ride-hailing company, Uber, said it has suspended its self-driving project after one of its driverless cars killed a woman in Arizona, US.
According to media reports, a woman crossing Mill Avenue at its intersection with Curry Road in Tempe, Ariz. on Monday. She was reported to have been struck and killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle at the intersection a night earlier.
According to a report by the New York Times, Uber is said to have suspended testing in Tempe as well as in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.
The accident was a reminder that self-driving technology is still in the experimental stage, and governments are still trying to figure out how to regulate it.
Uber, Waymo and a long list of tech companies and automakers have begun to expand testing of their self-driving vehicles in cities around the country. The companies say the cars will be safer than regular cars simply because they take easily distracted humans out of the driving equation. But the technology is still only about a decade old, and just now starting to experience the unpredictable situations that drivers can face.
It was not yet clear if the crash in Arizona will lead other companies or state regulators to slow the rollout of self-driving vehicles on public roads.
In a swift statement, Uber said: “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” an Uber spokeswoman, Sarah Abboud, said in a statement. “We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”