Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian in Arizona

Uber's Volvo XC90 self driving car is shown during a demonstration of self-driving automotive technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. September 13, 2016.  REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk - S1BEUBFRUFAB
Photo credit: Reuters

A woman has been struck and killed by an Uber self-driving vehicle in the US state of Arizona.

At the time of the accident, which occurred overnight Sunday local time, the car was in autonomous mode with a vehicle operator behind the wheel, police said.

"The vehicle was travelling northbound... when a female walking outside of the crosswalk crossed the road from west to east when she was struck by the Uber vehicle," police said in a statement.

In response, Uber said it had suspended its autonomous vehicle program across the United States and Canada.

The accident marked the first fatality from a self-driving vehicle, which are still being tested around the globe, and could derail efforts to fast-track the introduction of the new technology.

In a tweet, Uber expressed its condolences and said the company was fully co-operating with authorities.

Reuters