Tech

Uber suspends driverless cars after fatal accident in Arizona

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Uber has suspended its self-driving cars after one caused the death of a woman in Arizona.

Bloomberg reported that the company had suspended all driverless vehicles in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto and the greater Phoenix following the incident and pending an investigation.

The fatal accident is understood to be the first of its kind and happened when an Uber vehicle operating in autonomous mode struck the victim as she was crossing the road. The victim has not been named.

The accident occurred yesterday evening. No passengers were in the back seat and only one vehicle operator in the front seat.

Tempe police department, which is investigating the incident, said the woman was later taken to a local hospital where she died from her injuries.

"Her next of kin has not been notified yet so her name is not being released at this time. Uber is assisting and this is still an active investigation," the police said.

Uber said it was "fully co-operating" with the investigation.

Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We’re fully cooperating with @TempePolice and local authorities as they investigate this incident.

— Uber Comms (@Uber_Comms) March 19, 2018

This is not the fist time that the tech company has had to suspend its driverless vehicle operations in Arizona.

Uber suspended its testing of self-driving cars on the roads of Arizona nearly a year ago after a crash that did not cause any fatalities or injuries. The crash also brought to a halt the tests in Arizona, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

A recent study by Deloitte in the UK found that nearly half of UK consumers still fear that self-driving cars will not be safe.

The 49 per cent figure is down from 73 per cent last year, suggesting that while concerns are still there, they are steadily diminishing.

The auditor's report found that more than half of UK consumers would feel more comfortable being a passenger in a driverless vehicle if it was operated by a trusted brand, with consumers having more faith in traditional car manufacturers as opposed to tech companies.

Read more: Consumer fears about driverless cars are steadily dropping

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