The moment the Uber passenger realised what had happened.
The moment the Uber passenger realised what had happened.

Shocking moment self-drive Uber hits pedestrian

POLICE in the United States have released footage of the self-driving Uber that struck and killed a woman in Arizona on Sunday night.

The video, which is comprised of both the interior and exterior camera footage, shows the immediate moments before the crash and was released by the Tempe Police Department.

The woman, who has been identified as 49-year-old Elane Herzberg, died of injuries in hospital.

At the time of the accident, the Uber was in autonomous mode with a vehicle operator behind the wheel.

"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.

Uber suspended its autonomous vehicle program across the United States and Canada, and said in a statement it is fully co-operating with authorities.

The ride-sharing company could face criminal charges.

Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir said the footage suggested the accident was unavoidable.

"It's very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how (the victim) came from the shadows right into the roadway," she told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The accident marked the first pedestrian 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.

The self-driving testing has been taking place in Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.