After news emerged that a self-driving Uber vehicle had killed a pedestrian in Arizona, the local police force has now announced that early investigations show no fault from the taxi sharing service. After watching footage from the autonomous car’s two cameras, Sylvia Moir, police chief in Tempe, explained 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.”
So far, Uber has announced that it will be temporarily stopping its driverless experiments, but the repercussions could be further reaching if Tempe police find the company responsible. This would create a new dilemma, with Moir stating: “I won’t rule out the potential to file charges against the (backup driver) in the Uber vehicle,” however, if it is the autonomous car itself that is deemed to be at fault this would be “really new ground we’re venturing into.”
Uber currently has 100s of autonomous vehicles in Arizona, including a fleet of self-driving trucks.