Uber to suspend autonomous tests after Arizona accident

Uber said its self-driving cars remain suspended in Arizona and Pennsylvania, following a crash over the weekend.

Uber is abruptly pulling the plug on its self-driving cars after what appears to be an accident caused by human error, reports Bloomberg, which calls the development "the latest incident for a company reeling from multiple crises".

Uber spokesman Chelsea Kohler confirmed the accident, saying that neither driver suffered serious injuries and that the company was "continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no back-seat passengers in the vehicle". 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.

Earlier this month the SAVe Campaign asked eighteen automakers and developers of self-driving cars, including Uber, to take responsibility for failures in their automated and autonomous vehicle technology.

Initial police reports suggest the collision was caused by a person who failed to give way to the self-driving auto rather than a malfunction by the Uber vehicle.

Kevin Biesty, deputy director for policy for the Arizona Department of Transportation, said the state could set up a system to monitor local police accident reports involving self-driving cars but chose not to do so.

The Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle (SUV) was hit when another driver failed to yield, she said.

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The photo, showing the Uber SUV on its side, suggests a relatively high-impact crash. Josie Montenegro said: "There was a person behind the wheel". Per standard procedure, there was a driver behind the wheel of the vehicle.

It had been testing there, in San Francisco, and in Arizona.

Uber suspends self-driving program after crash.

Other companies testing self-driving cars in Arizona include Waymo, a Google spinoff company, and General Motors.

The driver of the other vehicle was not injured either, but the accident draws attention to the tightrope Uber has been walking. "It is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision".

The latest incident follows recent hard months for the firm, which has seen a number of high-level executives quit and criticism over workplace practices and ethics.

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