Self-driving cars are the way of the future. As always there are going to be problems and set backs as the new technology becomes available. The latest was a fatal accident involving a pedestrian. There have been many accidents before but those are all chalked up to human error, not the robot's. This situation seems to be the same case.
Elaine Herzberg was jay walking her bicycle across the street in an area that was not lit and did not have a crosswalk. As you can see from the video above, there was not much time for a robot or a human to react. She appears almost instantly and with how long it takes to brake a vehicle, there was unfortunately nothing that could be done.
The Police chief acknowledges the accident would have been hard to prevent regardless of how the car was being driven. Would it have helped if the driver had been more attentive and aware instead of likely looking at the phone in his lap? Possibly. Would it have helped if Elaine was wearing reflective clothing? Possibly. The fact is it's an unfortunate accident with a sad ending.