Friday, 19 October, 2018

Arizona Suspends Uber's Self-Driving Vehicle Testing After Fatal Crash

Mobileye Says Its Software Would Have Seen Pedestrian in Uber Fatality Uber will not reapply for its permit to test self-driving cars in California
Guillermo Lane | 29 March, 2018, 02:13

Uber said it informed California's Department of Motor Vehicles on Friday that it decided not to renew its autonomous vehicle testing permit - meaning it's indefinitely stopping its self-driving auto program in the state.

The departure comes a week after an Uber autonomous vehicle struck and killed a woman crossing a street in Arizona.

"Uber has indicated it will not renew its current permit to test autonomous vehicles in California", Brian Soublet, the DMV's chief counsel, wrote to Austin Heyworth, public affairs manager at Uber.

The programme was launched by the Departments of SC, ST, Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare to enhance livelihood opportunities in the driving profession, a press release from Uber said. On Monday, Arizona officially suspended Uber's self-driving auto tests in the state despite that Uber had already paused its operations there.

In a statement to Reuters, an Uber spokesperson said, "We believe that technology has the power to make transportation safer than ever before and recognize our responsibility to contribute to safety in our communities". "Given this, we made a decision to not reapply for a California permit with the understanding that our self-driving vehicles would not operate in the state in the immediate future".

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"I found the video [of the incident] to be disturbing and alarming, and it raises many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona", Ducey's letter read.

The safety record of Uber's self-driving vehicle technology is now coming under serious scrutiny. The ride-hailing service has halted tests of autonomous vehicles in a number of locations after a fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona, earlier this month. The New York Times reported Friday that the self-driving program was not meeting intense company deadlines and expectations for operation targets even before the crash. A Volvo spokesman said the carmaker will not speculate on the cause of the incident and is awaiting a full investigation report from the National Transportation Safety Board and that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Scarpinato said Monday that Ducey considers self-driving vehicles a way to improve public safety and limit road fatalities.

They reveal how Uber offered workspace for Ducey's staff in San Francisco, praised the governor lavishly, and promised to bring money and jobs to his state.

California is a relatively small testing ground for Uber with 29 vehicles permitted for testing.

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