Uber Stops Self-Driving Tests in Arizona

Several months after one of it’s self-driving cars hit a pedestrian in a fatal accident in Tempe, Uber has formally ended the testing of the new technology in Arizona.

The company began the several week-long process of ending testing in Arizona after Governor Doug Ducey ordered the driverless road tests to halt in late March in the aftermath of the accident that resulted in a woman’s death.

Testing was also stopped in San Francisco and Pittsburgh due after a shaky rollout. However, Uber plans to resume testing the driverless technology in Pittsburgh despite the controversy over the accident in Tempe.  

The company issues the statement, “We’re committed to self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the near future. In the meantime, we remain focused on our top-to-bottom safety review, having brought on former (National Transportation Safety Board) Chair Christopher Hart to advise us on our overall safety culture.”

Uber did have safety measures, in the form of an Uber employee sitting in the driver’s seat, in place when the car hit a female pedestrian while operating in autonomous mode near Mill Avenue and Curry Road in Tempe.

The federal government has issued voluntary guidelines for companies like Uber that want to test autonomous vehicles. However, several states, such as Arizona and Michigan have taken a detached approach, hoping to gain jobs from the new technology.

Governor Ducey used light regulations to entice Uber to implement testing in Arizona. Uber hops to continue talks with Ducey and remains committed to Arizona.

About 300 jobs were lost because of the accident and Governor’s ordinance. Uber has offered outplacement services to those who lost their jobs as a result of the incident. 

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