Uber has suspended its self-driving car after an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona on March 18, 2018. At the time of the accident, the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human operator at the wheel.
Uber has been testing self-driving vehicles in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 there were 5,376 pedestrians killed and an estimated 70,000 injured in traffic crashes in the United States. A total of 5,295 traffic crashes had one or more pedestrian fatalities. On average, a pedestrian was killed every 1.6 hours and injured every 7.5 minutes in traffic crashes.
This appears to be the first fatal pedestrian accident involving a self-driving vehicle on a public road in the United States. As testing of autonomous vehicles appears to be taking hold in the United States, this fatal accident will most certainly raise questions about who is liable for the injuries and fatalities from accidents involving autonomous vehicles as well as the implementation of regulations for self-driving cars.
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