Experts investigating the death of a woman in Tempe, Arizona, are saying that the circumstances are "grimly reminiscent" of events portrayed in the 2003 Hollywood movie 'Terminator 3 - Rise Of The Machines'.
According to eyewitnesses, Elaine Connor, 49, was killed when an Uber self-driving car suddenly "veered towards her at great speed", accompanied by a loud and dramatic musical score. She was not using a pedestrian crossing.
The autonomous car then drove on normally, as if nothing had happened.
Many companies including Ford, General Motors, Tesla and Waymo are currently investing very heavily in research to develop self-driving cars, which are often characterised as the future of the motor industry, and hailed as a way of reducing traffic accidents.
Many states across the US have welcomed the tests, in the hope of keeping themselves at the forefront of new technology. However, there have been warnings that the technology is being deployed before it is ready. The Tempe death seems to be confirmation of this.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board said they were sending teams to Tempe.
The autonomics, biotronics, cyberdiagnostics, and electrorobotics sectors have repeatedly warned that we are still in the early stages of the development of autonomous machines, and that we should tread carefully in order to avoid 'a Terminator-type situation'.
Dr Peter Silberman, a leading authority on 'machines destroying human civilisation and taking over the Earth', said:
"This is a wake-up call. It's happening."