Uber Drops Driverless Car Tests in California After Fatal Crash in Arizona

Uber Drops Driverless Car Tests in California After Fatal Crash in Arizona

Uber Drops Driverless Car Tests in California After Fatal Crash in Arizona

In December 2016, after California revoked the registration of Uber's 16 self-driving test cars, the company transported the cars to Arizona, where Ducey publicly welcomed them.

Ron was most recently the head of Uber's Freight business focused on trucking, and his departure comes in the wake of a fatal crash involving one of Uber's self-driving cars - believed to be the first time an autonomous vehicle has killed a pedestrian. "Given this, we decided not to reapply for a California DMV permit with the understanding that our self-driving vehicles would not operate on public roads in the immediate future".

"In the best interests of the people of my state, I have directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to suspend Uber's ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles on Arizona's public roadways", Ducey wrote. The company voluntary suspended their tests in Arizona, California, Pittsburgh, and Toronto following the crash.

"Although we developed our self-driving technology independently, as good engineering practice, we will wait to learn from Uber's incident".

Uber says it is continuing to cooperate with investigators.

The precise causes of the Arizona accident are not yet known, and it is unclear how the vehicle's sensors functioned that night or whether the lidar's blind spot played a role.

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The crash is being investigated by Tempe police, the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Autonomous vehicles operated by rivals Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving vehicle unit, have six lidar sensors, while General Motors' vehicle contains five, according to information from the companies.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gloated in a tweet accompanying a story about the Uber cars leaving California: "This is what OVER-regulation looks like!"

While we're still awaiting the results of the investigation into last week's fatal Uber crash, we're left wondering who or what was at fault.

As for Uber's testing in Pennsylvania, the company isn't required to obtain a permit from the state. There could have been a software failure in the Uber vehicle, said Richard Murray, an engineering professor at California's Institute of Technology and the former head of Caltech's student self-driving team.

In a separate incident, the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation Tuesday into the fatal crash of a Tesla vehicle equipped with a self-driving system. The incident brought much attention to the safety of testing self-driving vehicles on public streets in the U.S.

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