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Victim suddenly stepped in front of autonomous Uber, data shows

March 20, 2018  - By
Image: GPS World

Police say a video from the Uber self-driving car that struck and killed a woman on March 18 shows her moving in front of it suddenly, according to Bloomberg Technology.

Uber Technologies Inc. halted its autonomous vehicle tests after one of its cars struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in the first pedestrian fatality involving the technology.

Officials in Boston asked that similar tests by self-driving startup NuTonomy Inc. pauses its tests following the Arizona crash. Toyota also halted its tests.

A backup driver was behind the wheel but not operating the vehicle. “The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them,” Sylvia Moir, the police chief in Tempe, Arizona, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “His first alert to the collision was the sound of the collision.”

The Uber had a forward-facing video recorder, which showed the woman was walking a bike at about 10 p.m. and moved into traffic from a dark center median.

“It’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode,” Moir said.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.