Uber suspends self-driving car program in 2 states

Posted April 06, 2017

In fact, owing to these strict rules, Uber moved most of its self-driving auto tests to Arizona in December 2016 as the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked Uber's autonomous testing permits.

Uber has paused its efforts to test self-driving cars after a crash in Arizona on Saturday.

Uber Technologies Inc.is suspending its self-driving auto program after one of its autonomous vehicles was involved in a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest incident for a company reeling from multiple crises. Authorities in San Francisco cracked down on Uber's self-driving cars in the city after it was found that they were operating without permits.

An Uber spokesman said: "We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no backseat passengers in the vehicle". According to documents obtained by Recode, human safety drivers needed to take control of Uber's autonomous vehicles roughly once every 0.8 miles last month. In almost all cases, the cars have backup drivers who can take the wheel in an emergency.

Uber had reportedly restarted some of its self-driving tests by Monday, but by reflexively suspending the tests, Uber underlined the fear that the technology is risky.

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Uber's San Francisco programme is now in development mode.

The stop comes after one of said vehicles was involved in a high-impact collision in Tempe on Friday.

Arizona is one of a growing number of states that allow self-driving vehicles to be tested on public roads.

Uber has stopped its self-driving vehicle pilot in Arizona while it launches a probe into the crash.

In December, cycling campaigner Brian Wiedenmeier attended a demonstration of Uber's autonomous vehicle in San Francisco and said he twice saw it make an "unsafe right-hook-style turn through a bike lane". Hod Lipson, a professor of mechanical engineering and roboticist at Columbia University, who estimates there are about 23,000 traffic fatalities per week globally, said: "Driverless cars keep getting better the more they drive, whereas humans have a roughly constant safety record over the years". Google's self-driving vehicle division Waymo has had a handful of accidents on private roads but most of which are minor incidents, according to Bloomberg. Nobody was seriously injured.