Arizona: Uber slammed the breaks on its self-driving car programme on Monday after one of its SUVs struck and killed a woman in Arizona.
The death marks the first fatality from a self-driving vehicle, which are still in testing mode around the globe.
The tragedy threatens to derail efforts to fast-track the introduction of the new technology in the United States. Police in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe said at the time of the accident, which occurred overnight Sunday to Monday, the car was in autonomous mode with a vehicle operator behind the wheel. The woman was walking outside of the crosswalk when she was hit and she later died in the hospital.
U.S. transportation regulators said they were sending teams to probe the crash. In a tweet, Uber expressed its condolences and said the company was fully cooperating with authorities.
Uber is among one of many companies racing to get self-driving cars ready for public use. The San Francisco startup has been testing specially equipped Volvo XC90 crossovers in Pittsburgh and the Phoenix area.
Google's Waymo and General Motors' Cruise division have also been testing their autonomous cars on public roads. Concerns over the safety of autonomous vehicles flared after a man died in Florida in 2016 while his Tesla was in auto pilot mode. The latest accident comes as Uber works to recover from a string of scandals that forced out co-founder Travis Kalanick as CEO last year and prepares to go public sometime next year.