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>> Uber slammed the brakes on it's self-driving car program on Monday after one of it's 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, says Reuters correspondent, Alexandria Sage.
>> This accident comes just as lawmakers are debating how much regulatory supervision there should be on self-driving vehicles. Just on Friday, Uber, and it's main rival, Waymo, urged Congress to push forward legislation that would speed the advent of self-driving vehicles.>> 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 cross walk when she was hit, and she later died in the hospital. US 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 Motor's 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 autopilot mode.
>> The difference between last night's fatality and that involving the Tesla Model S was that Tesla's car was not fully self-driving.>> 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.