Self-Driving Uber Death: 18 Cities That Allow Autonomous Car Testing

The list of U.S. cities running autonomous driving tests is growing at a rapid pace.

by Catie Keck

A death involving Uber’s self-driving car program on Sunday night has raised questions about the future of the burgeoning technology. Even as Uber announced Monday that it had paused its pilot program, autonomous driving has become a prolific phenomenon in cities nationwide.

The Sunday incident is believed to be the first death to result from self-driving vehicle technologies. An Uber spokeswoman told The New York Times that the rideshare company was “fully cooperating” with authorities and that it had suspended its autonomous car programs in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto. However, according to data recorded by the the Global Atlas of Autonomous Vehicles in Cities, a collaboration between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute, there are still many other cities running autonomous vehicle pilot programs nationwide.

An animated GIF shows an Uber self-driving car on the streets of Pittsburgh.

  • As of October 2017, cities with programs currently underway included the following municipalities. New York state announced last year it would allow General Motors to test its self-driving vehicles early this year.
  • Arlington, Texas
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Chandler, California
  • Concord, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Gainesville, Florida
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Reno, Nevada
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Jose, California
  • San Ramon, California
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Washington, DC

NBC News reported Monday the Uber vehicle was “rolling in autonomous mode” mode when it struck a pedestrian who was crossing the street late Sunday evening. The woman, identified by police as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was transported to the hospital and later died of her injuries, police tell Inverse.

The list of U.S. cities — and those internationally — running autonomous driving pilots is growing at a rapid pace, as companies like Telsa, General Motors, Apple, and more race to corner the future market of self-driving vehicles. The event could raise serious questions about public testing of the technology.

On Monday, Uber’s CEO responded to the fatality on Twitter, but didn’t reveal much about Uber’s plans for their self driving tech. “Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona,” Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted. “We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.”

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