The first reported fatality by an autonomous vehicle took place on Sunday 18th March . A woman was killed while crossing a road in Tempe, Arizona while the vehicle was in autonomous mode.

The operator, Uber is temporarily halting self-driving car tests in all locations after the deadly accident, in what is likely the first pedestrian fatality caused by a self-driving car.

There was a vehicle operator in the car but no passengers at the time of the accident, according to Tempe police, which responded to the scene at around 10 p.m. on Sunday. The 49-year-old victim died after being transported to a local hospital.
In a press statement Uber Uber said “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident,”.

This is the first recorded fatality involving a self-driving in autonomous mode. Many professional drivers will be keeping a close eye on accidents involving autonomous vehicles. There is a sense that the rush by vehicle manufacturers to get their technology to market will have safety implications for road users.   

Professional drivers are already reporting incidents with various driver assist devices such as, lane departure and adaptive cruise control. While manufacturers and regulators are hailing these devises as safe to use, there have been issues with some vehicles using these devices. Whether it is driver error or system failure, many professional drivers will be sceptical about the total safety of such devices. Professional Drivers should be made aware of any concerns that other drivers would have about particular driver assist devices.


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