Once in the realm of science fiction and hopeful invention, self-driving cars are now a reality. Or, they may soon be. Uber, the ride-sharing service giving rides to those without cars and those who might have had one too many drinks, has been testing the possibilities of using self-driving vehicles as part of their fleet. However, a recent auto accident caused by a self-driving vehicle has placed testing on hold. The Atlanta Journal & Constitution reports on the story.
As automakers race to be the first to reach the pinnacle of self-driving technology, a fatal accident may be putting those plans on hold.
A self-driving SUV operated by the ride-sharing service Uber fatally struck a pedestrian in a Phoenix suburb. The crash occurred on the evening of Sunday, March 19th as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck by the Volvo SUV in Tempe. Herzberg had been walking her bike outside the lines of a crosswalk.
Road-testing being done by Uber in Phoenix, Toronto, Pittsburgh and San Francisco was immediately suspended. Uber is competing with other companies as well as automakers Ford and General Motors to be the first to have safe, self-driving vehicles.
The Volvo in question had a passenger as well as a backup driver and had been traveling at about 40 m.ph. when it struck Herzberg almost immediately after she stepped onto the street. Neither Herzberg nor the backup driver are suspected as being intoxicated at the time of the crash.
While many in this pioneering industry have been dreading a crash taking place, they also were aware that it was inevitable.
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