Uber shuts down self-driving operation in Arizona after fatal crash

25 May, 2018, 02:08 | Author: Misty Newman
  • Uber shuts down self-driving operation in Arizona after fatal crash

Uber said it planned to continue talking with Ducey and was committed to Arizona. But that accident also resulted in Gov. Doug Ducey, who had openly courted Uber and altered state rules to encourage testing of autonomous vehicles, suspending their ability to have driverless cars on Arizona roads.

Uber is closing down screening of self-driving vehicles in Arizona after among its automobiles eliminated a pedestrian in a March crash. The program will be restarted after federal agencies complete their investigations, but initially only in Pittsburgh.

Ducey used light regulations to entice Uber to the state after the company had a shaky rollout of test cars in San Francisco. "In the meantime, we remain focused on our top-to-bottom safety review".

Uber spokeswoman Stephanie Sedlak says the decision does not impact 550 other Arizona employees.

Uber went on to pioneer its self-driving semi-truck program in the state, rolling out a fleet of autonomous big rigs to move freight across the state.

Uber has said it considers self-driving technology important to the future of its ride services, although it is not clear how it fits into the plans of new Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi.

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At the time, a self-driving Uber vehicle taking part in the company's manned autonomous auto program struck cyclist Elaine Herzberg, causing her to die from her injuries.

The company will continue testing driverless cars in San Francisco, which houses the headquarters of the company, and will focus on research in Pittsburgh, where several projects are being implemented auto with artificial intelligence.

Most of those impacted by the layoffs are vehicle operators, who were paid to supervise the vehicles during tests. That includes limiting the company's self-driving cars to 25 miles per hour, no matter the posted speed limit, since that sharply increases the chance a pedestrian will survive being struck. Uber announced May 23 the termination of its autonomous-vehicle testing in Arizona. Neither the car's systems nor Vasquez stopped the vehicle in time, and the precise reasons are under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Uber had a good relationship with Arizona in the past.

"We are actively working to make our return to the road a reality with a goal of resuming operations in Pittsburgh this summer", said Uber. "You never followed up on my requirements after fatality in Arizona". Auto crashes are overwhelmingly due to human error.

Pittsburgh was Uber's first city for autonomous auto testing, launched in 2016.

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