Uber suspends autonomous car testing in Arizona, Pittsburgh

Anthony Levandowski

Photos of the crash were posted online showing the Uber auto on its right side, while another vehicle was badly damaged.

Following the collision, Uber suspended its United States self-driving programs in Tempe, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco.

Uber has resumed its self-driving auto testing programme three days after a headline grabbing accident in Tempe, Arizona, involving one of its modified Volvo XC90s brought the programme to a halt.

The spokeswoman told us Uber felt confident in returning its remaining autonomous test vehicles to the road, having paused the passenger pilots to get a clearer picture of what happened in Tempe.

A driver and an engineer were in the front seats of the Uber Volvo SUV at the time, a standard requirement for the self-driving cars.

Police in Tempe, Arizona, were called to a crash at approximately 6:25 p.m. Friday to find that the Uber SUV had been hit when another vehicle failed to yield, according to the Tempe Police Department. As is standard procedure, a driver was behind the wheel of the self-driving auto.

Uber had been forced to stop testing in that city in December, after California regulators revoked the vehicles' registrations. Neither driver had serious injuries, the police spokesperson said.




The accident took place last Friday when one of the company's self-driving Volvo SUVs flipped onto its side causing a collision in Tempe, Arizona. The DMV reissued a limited permit in early March for two self-driving Uber cars in California, both of which are operating in San Francisco.

More than 100 self-driving XC90 development vehicles have been rolled out by Uber in a $400-million joint-development project with Volvo.

This is not the first incident involving Uber's autonomous cars. The other vehicle involved in the accident received a citation due to a moving violation.

The crash in Tempe is unlikely to derail Uber's self-driving vehicle aspirations-especially if the incident played out the way law enforcement described, and Uber was not at fault.

Having worked tirelessly on its autonomous vehicle technology for years, Uber began trialling its fleet of self-driving Volvos on the road last year. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the accident.

Meanwhile, critics have also questioned the public safety implications of Uber's self-driving experiment.

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