Uber’s self-driving car killed a pedestrian in Arizona — company is now halting self-driving car tests


Uber is temporarily halting self-driving car tests in all locations after a deadly accident, in what is likely the first pedestrian fatality caused by a self-driving car.

Programs in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Toronto will be paused after a woman was hit and killed overnight by an Uber self-driving car when walking across a street in Tempe, Arizona. A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board told CNBC it is investigating the accident.

There was a vehicle operator in the car but no passengers at the time of the accident, according to Tempe police, which responded to the scene at around 10 p.m. on Sunday. The 49-year-old victim passed away after being transported to a local hospital, police said.

“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident,” Uber said in a statement.

A year ago, Uber suspended the same program after a different Arizona crash which did not result in any serious injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board has already scrutinized accidents involving Tesla’s autopilot technology, but those cars operate with different technology than what Uber was testing.

Uber’s self-driving car business has already seen setbacks after it was embroiled in a lawsuit with Alphabet’s Waymo for much of the past year. That case was recently settled under Uber’s new leadership.