Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

Uber Car in Self-Driving Mode Kills Woman in Arizona

Photo: Tim Templeton/Wikimedia

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 Los Angeles

Long Beach Leads in Traffic Circles

Traffic circles aren't quite ubiquitous in Long Beach, but they're around. Riding and walking through the city one encounters circles in neighborhoods rich and poor, new and old.

July 12, 2024

Metro and Caltrans Still Planning 605 Expansion, Plus Four Connecting Freeways

Metro and Caltrans are planning to spend billions of dollars widening the 605, 5, 10, 60 and 105 Freeways. Really.

July 10, 2024
See all posts