Uber’s Self-Driving Operations In Pittsburgh Suspended After Pedestrian Killed In Arizona

Mar 19, 2018

Uber's self-driving car operations in multiple cities, including Pittsburgh, have been suspended after a woman was killed in Arizona. 

The New York Times reports that the woman was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk when she was hit by an Uber vehicle in self-driving mode sometime late Sunday or early Monday. A human driver was behind the wheel.

“We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident,” an Uber spokesperson told 90.5 WESA in an email.

The company has paused its operations in Pittsburgh, Tempe, Ariz., San Francisco and Toronto.

News of the fatal crash comes nearly one year after Uber paused operations as the result of a different Arizona crash. In March 2017, one of the company's self-driving SUVs stuck another vehicle. That crash did not result in serious injuries. 

A 2017 survey by Bike Pittsburgh, released around the same time, found many local pedestrians and cyclists have positive feelings toward self-driving cars, noting that autonomous vehicles obey traffic rules and don't text while driving. However, many of the cyclists surveyed noted that some cars weren't passing with the state-required 4 feet of distance and would like to see more regulations around self-driving cars passing cyclists. 

Uber is one of several companies testing autonomous cars in the city. Pittsburgh-based Argo AI, backed by a $1 billion investment from Ford, aims to put self-driving cars in production by 2021. Aptiv, formerly known as Delphi, is also testing self-driving car technology in Pittsburgh. 

This story was last updated at 2:09 p.m.