Seeing technology advance to the point where self-driving cars are an everyday thing is cool to imagine, but this story might give you a few second thoughts. A self-driving Uber recently killed a woman in Arizona, so if you’re planning on trying out this new aspect of the popular ride-sharing service, this is definitely something you should consider — especially if you live in one of the cities where Uber is currently testing these cars.
According to The New York Times, the Tempe, Arizona woman (who has not yet been identified) was crossing the street when she was struck by the vehicle, making hers the first known death involving a self-driving car.
It’s worth noting that there was a “human safety driver” at the wheel of the self-driving Uber, but the car was in autonomous mode, driving itself.
Police told the Times that the accident occurred overnight in the late hours of Sunday or early hours of Monday. So far, there aren’t many other details available about the incident, but it’s definitely horrifying to know that this even happened in the first place.
And if you want to avoid these cars, it’s important to know where they’re being tested.
Aside from Tempe, right now the the self-driving Uber service is being tested in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto, although the company has said it’s suspending the program in light of what happened — at least, for now.
A local Tempe ABC affiliate released the following statement from Uber: “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”
It’s so heartbreaking to think that such a novel technology could have led to this tragic situation, and hopefully, in the future, those working on self-driving cars will be able to find a way to keep incidents like this from happening. Just remember to be careful when you’re crossing the street — or doing just about anything that involves a car, self-driving or not.