Deadly crash involving self-driving Uber raises questions on company policies

Self-Driving Uber Car Crashes In Arizona — Kills Pedestrian

The crash reportedly occurred Sunday night, March 18 in Tempe, Arizona and is the first death involving an autonomous vehicle being tested on public roads.

Toyota said it was temporarily pausing its testing on USA public roads to help its test drivers, who could be experiencing "an emotional effect" from the incident.

Uber was using a Volvo XC90 SUV for the self-driving test when the accident took place.

Arizona has some of the most permissive regulations for autonomous auto testing, even after tightening them up a bit earlier this month opening the door to fully-autonomous cars without a backup driver on board.

Rafaela Vasquez was at the wheel of the vehicle, which was in auto mode, when it struck Elaine Herzberg as she was walking a bicycle outside the crosswalk in Tempe at 10 p.m. on Sunday night.

"When we evaluated other companies vehicles, they had more relaxed safety standards", he told reporters, adding that Hyundai is taking more time than rivals to develop autonomous technology to guarantee safety.

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ABC15 is uncovering brand new details about the deadly crash involving a self-driving Uber.

The 49-year-old Arizona resident was walking her bicycle across the road when she was hit. After Tempe detectives complete their probe, it will be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to decide if criminal charges are warranted.

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also are investigating.

Tempe's police department released a statement late Tuesday afternoon updating progress on the investigation. Self-driving cars have been involved in minor accidents, but almost all have been blamed on human motorists hitting the autonomous vehicle.

The chief's account raises new questions in the investigation that holds importance to the future of the burgeoning autonomous vehicle industry. The ride-hailing company said it didn't think it needed to obtain permits, because they never had and didn't feel like it was necessary to conduct its tests.

There are now over 600 cars with some level of autonomous technology being tested on Arizona's roads, including fleets run by GM Cruise and Google-owned Waymo.

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