Self Driving Uber Crashes In Arizona, Company Halts Pilot Program
Uber’s infamously embattled autonomous car division took another hit Saturday after one of its self-driving Volvo XC90 test cars was involved in an accident in Tempe, Arizona. The technology company has since halted the pilot program, parking its self driving fleets in Arizona, Pittsburgh and San Francisco until further notice.
The crash occurred when a Ford Edge failed to yield to the Uber test vehicle as it made a left hand turn onto a major arterial road. The vehicle was in self-driving mode at the time of the accident and two “safety” drivers were also present in the front seats. The Uber wasn’t blamed for the crash and no serious injuries were reported. A tweet from news agency Fresco News shows the XC90 test car rolled on its side with a heavily damaged Edge sitting in the background.
“We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no back-seat passengers in the vehicle,” an Uber spokesperson said in a prepared statement.
Uber’s self driving car pilot program received some poor press in December after test vehicles were spotted running red lights, breezing through pedestrian crosswalks and nearly hitting other cars in San Francisco. Those incidents prompted California state regulators to order Uber to stop all autonomous car testing until it could obtain a proper permit for operating self-driving cars.
News of the collision comes just days after Uber president Jeff Jones quit the company and became another in a growing list of talent that has jumped ship in recent months. In February, one of its top engineers, Anthony Levandowski, quit the company after news surfaced that he had stole Google self-driving car offshoot Waymo’s LIDAR circuit-board technology. This prompted Waymo to file a lawsuit against Uber and its self-driving trucking division, Otto.
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- Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.
When the first vehicles appeared wasn't there a pedestrian in front with a red flag? Well that's what we're going through now - the red flag phase.
Q: If the Uber car wasn't blamed for the accident, and if AV companies are so eager to brag about their cars' future capabilities (Uber, Tesla, Volvo, Ford, etc), then *why* did Uber pull the vehicles? A: Here's why - because someday, the liability *will* fall upon the AV mfr of an SAE Level 4 or 5 vehicle, perhaps for the occupants inside the vehicle, not just outside it. If the company was truly confident, they'd put that XC90 on its wheels and send it back out into the fray. I bet those guys who were 'slightly' injured are second-guessing their contract not to sue (which I'm sure they have).