Uber suspends self-driving car tests after fatality in Arizona

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The program is one of several self-driving vehicle initiatives active in Tempe, such as Alphabet's Waymo.

Uber first launched its self-driving auto program onto public roads in Pittsburgh back in September 2016. The department is investigating the crash.

Police in a Phoenix suburb says Herzberg had been walking outside of a crosswalk Sunday night when she was struck by the vehicle.

The program was briefly suspended in 2017 after a crash in Tempe, however, no serious injuries were sustained.

One of the self-driving cars was involved in a crash a month later, after a auto failed to yield to the Uber vehicle and hit it, authorities said. However, this mode is not meant to be used as a fully autonomous driving mode, and Tesla urges the users to keep their hands on the wheel at all times.

Autonomous mode means the vehicle is driving on its own. And this month, California announced that from April it would allow companies to test autonomous vehicles without anyone behind the wheel.

Following the accident, Uber is temporarily pulling its self-driving cars off the roads in Tempe, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Toronto, where it had been testing them. There were no other passengers in the vehicle at the time.

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"Our hearts go out to the victim's family", Uber said in a statement.

"The safety of our citizens here in Tempe is of the upmost importance, and we just want to make sure that our citizens are safe", Elcock said. The self-driving industry has found quicker success with highway driving, which is a less complicated environment. Government investigators highlighted an "overreliance on vehicle automation" as a contributor to the crash.

Arizona is a hotbed of self-driving vehicle development. The vehicle was confirmed to be operating in self-driving mode at the time of the collision.

Carmakers and tech companies are competing to be first with the technology.

A "cluster of excellence" is being created along the M40 corridor to develop autonomous vehicles using existing testing centres in Birmingham, Coventry, Oxford, Milton Keynes and London.

Arizona has little inclement weather. The only person in the self-driving auto was the operator in the front seat. The first fatality occurred in July 2016, when a Tesla owner was killed after its Autopilot mode failed to recognise an oncoming lorry.