This past Monday was not a good day for the budding self-driving car industry. An Uber Volvo XC90-based self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian walking outside of the crosswalk in Tempe, Arizona. Uber has since suspended testing for its autonomous vehicles.
Uber is one of many companies racing to deploy self-driving cars first, and that includes General Motors. However, the incident will not affect the automaker’s plans to roll out commercialized self-driving cars next year.
In a statement to Axios, GM said, “Protecting the safety of the people in the communities in which we live and work, as well as our employees, is at the heart of who we are as a company. Our plans to commercially launch in dense urban environments in 2019 remain unchanged but, as we’ve said from the start, we will not launch until we are satisfied that it is safe to do so.”
The Uber autonomous vehicle was in self-driving mode when it struck the pedestrian, and a human safety driver was also behind the wheel. Neither reacted quickly enough to stop in time. It was the first report of a self-driving car causing a death.
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” Uber said in a statement. “We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.”