Self-Driving Uber SUV Kills Woman In Tempe

A self-driving Uber SUV killed a bicyclist in the early hours of Monday morning.

Tempe, AZ – A woman was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber SUV in the early hours of Monday morning.

The New York Times reported that Uber had suspended testing of its self-driving cars in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto, in the wake of the accident.

An Uber spokeswoman said the company was “fully cooperating” with the local authorities.

The autonomous Uber had a safety driver at the wheel, as was required for Uber’s autonomous test vehicles operating on public roads, Tech Crunch reported.

Police said that the Uber was driving northbound near Mill Avenue and Curry Road when a woman attempted to cross the street with her bicycle in front of the vehicle outside, of a crosswalk, KNXV reported.

The pedestrian was hit by the Uber, and transported to a nearby hospital where she died, police said.

There were no passengers in the self-driving Uber at the time of the crash, according to KNXV.

"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 the company released.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted his condolences about the tragic death.

Police have not yet released the name of the victim.

The New York Times reported that the collision was the first time anyone was known to have been killed by a self-driving vehicle on public roads.

There are huge implications for self-driving vehicles in the future as a result of this first crash, Tech Crunch reported.

It’s not known if the safety driver who was in the Uber and supposed to be watching out for this sort of problem could be held legally responsible.

Tech Crunch said that results of the investigation and the outcomes from this incident will shape the future of autonomous vehicle regulation in the United States.

Comments (14)
No. 1-14

Sometimes unexpected things happen so fast there is no time to react. If the self-drive could not stop in time, how can you expect the passenger to?


The ONLY thing that might protect the "safety driver" from liability depends on whether the bicycle rider was riding the bike or pushing it as a pedestrian & what the state laws are in AZ regarding if a bicycle on a roadway is considered a vehicle. Failure to reduce speed to prevent an accident may play a factor AND the whole idea of having a "safety driver" at the wheel is to prevent such a thing happening. If he was reading a book, texting on a phone, sleeping or whatever, then I believe they will find him criminally liable.
Regardless of how the criminal liability portion is ruled, Uber better bring their big checkbook with them to the civil trial. If this woman is a mother, especially to small children, they may need to bring several checkbooks.
Unless they have a lot of politicians in their pockets, don't look for laws allowing these vehicles with no drivers at all in them anytime soon. I realize that is the final goal of the technology, since manned vehicles increase the overhead, but this technology may never be ruled as "safe" & it will never relieve them of liability.


I will do my own driving, thank you!


I guess that puts the skids on that idea. They also are trying to use bus'. Horrible idea


People get hit by other people every day. This is an unfortunate incident, but I'm still all for autonomous vehicles. It will make everyone safer and travel more efficient.