Uber announces end of self-driving auto operations in Arizona

Joanna Estrada
May 25, 2018

Uber will continue with its AV research in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, but in the email, Uber executive Eric Meyhofer reportedly said the company would change how it does its testing.

The company suspended all autonomous vehicle testing on public roads after Volvo XC90 fitted with Uber's self-driving technology killed a pedestrian crossing the road in Tempe.

He said the autonomous car's cameras and radar system should have had enough time to pick up the pedestrian and react to the situation. The outlet reports Uber will restart its autonomous operations in Pittsburgh after the federal investigation into the first fatal crash of its kind wraps up.

In response to an query from Mashable, an Uber spokesperson emailed this statement: "We're committed to self-driving technology and look forward to returning to public roads in the coming months".

The decision to pull out of Arizona will affect about 300 of the company's employees in the state.

Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi said Uber was likely to remain in the red as it reinvested in its food-delivery and new bike-renting services.

Uber ends Arizona driverless car programme
Uber Shutting Self-Driving Car Operations In Arizona Following Fatal Crash

In allowing Uber, and other companies such as Waymo, Arizona only requires minimum liability insurance policies to operate self-driving cars and does not require the company to report crashes or testing information.

Uber had moved its autonomous testing operations to Arizona after the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked its vehicle registrations in late 2016. It said it will focus on its autonomous vehicle efforts in San Francisco and Pittsburgh.

More: 30 states allow self-driving cars. Since the crash, Uber has been cooperating with a National Transportation Safety Board investigation.

Uber had a good relationship with Arizona in the past. Indeed it was reported that the car's settings might have left it assuming it could safely drive through Herzberg, rather than needing to brake or swerve to avoid her. The mayor also wants Uber's app to alert human drivers when they are speeding, to encourage them to follow the law.

Uber has had a string of bad news recently related to its self-driving and autonomous vehicle plans.

Machover added that when they return to the testing unmanned vehicles on public roads will ensure enhanced safety and obtained proper authorization for testing. The company had argued that state laws did not apply to its self-driving programme, but its defiance was met with threats of legal action from the DMV and the state attorney general.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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