The crash was the first fatal incident involving an autonomous vehicle.
A fatal crash involving an Uber vehicle driving in autonomous mode was likely the fault of 49-year-old pedestrian Elaine Herzberg, according to the chief of Tempe Police, speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle after the collision on Sunday.
Herzberg was “pushing a bicycle laden with plastic shopping bags,” according to the Chronicle, when she “abruptly walked from a center median into a lane of traffic.”
After viewing video captured by the Uber vehicle, Sylvia Moir concluded that “it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway.”
The crash was the first fatal incident involving an autonomous vehicle – one of the hottest new emerging technologies and estimated by analysts to be worth some $7 trillion in global service revenue by 2050.
Uber, which has suspended its self-driving car program in response.