An Uber self-driving car hit and killed a woman crossing a street in Arizona, police said, in the first fatality involving an autonomous vehicle and a potential blow to the technology expected to transform transportation.
The ride services company said it was suspending North American tests of its self-driving vehicles currently going on in Arizona, Pittsburgh and Toronto.
So-called robot cars, when fully developed by companies including Uber, Alphabet Inc. and General Motors Co., are expected to drastically cut down on motor vehicle fatalities and create billion-dollar businesses.
But Monday’s accident underscored the challenges ahead for the promising technology as the cars confront real-world situations involving real people.
Lawmakers have been debating legislation that would speed introduction of self-driving cars.
“This tragic accident under-scores why we need to be exceptionally cautious when testing and deploying auto-nomous vehicle technologies on public roads,” said Democratic Senator Edward Markey.
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