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Woman dies after hit by self-drive Uber

A woman has been killed by an Uber self-driving car in the US state of Arizona, causing the ride-hailing company to suspend its autonomous vehicle program across the United States and Canada.

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

The vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel at the time of the accident, which occurred overnight on Sunday local time, Tempe police said.

"The vehicle was traveling 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.

The woman later died from her injuries in a hospital, police said.

Local television footage of the scene showed a crumpled bike and a Volvo XC90 four-wheel drive with a smashed-in front.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are sending investigative teams to probe the crash.

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

AAP

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