First known fatality from driverless Uber happens in Tempe

- A woman who police say was hit and killed by an Uber self-driving vehicle has been identified as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg.

Herzberg is believed to be the first person killed by a self-driving vehicle.

In a news conference that was held Monday afternoon, Tempe Police officials said they began to receive calls at around 10:00 p.m. Sunday of a car accident that happened Mill Avenue, just south of Curry Road. The car, according to officials, was heading north on Mill Avenue when Herzberg was walking a bicycle across the roadway when she was struck by the car.

Herzberg, according to officials, was declared dead at a hospital. The operator was identified as 44-year-old Rafaela Vasquez. Officials said Vazquez was cooperative, and showed no sign of impairment.

The car, according to Tempe Police officials, was a 2017 self-driving Volvo XC90 that was in autonomous mode at the time of the collision. Vasquez, according to officials, was behind the wheel at the time of the incident.

Uber has paused self-driving operations in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto as a result of the deadly collision and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed condolences on his Twitter account.

The company also released the following statement to FOX 10:

"Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident."

The NTSB says they are sending a team to Tempe to investigate the deadly crash.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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