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Arizona Crash Causes Uber to Momentarily Halt Its Autonomous Testing

  • Sharnita Sanders
  • March 29, 2017
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Uber stopped all testing of its self-driving vehicles in Tempe, Arizona after one of the autonomous cars was involved in a three-car collision. Although there were no injuries sustained in the crash, the Uber vehicle was turned on its side during the accident and the other car appeared to sustain the majority of the damage.

It’s reported by a source that another car failed to yield to the Uber vehicle.  Uber did say that here was a person behind the wheel of the autonomous car, but was unclear about whether the person was driving or not.

Uber’s test of its autonomous vehicles started in Pittsburgh just last year. It didn’t take long for the company to expand its testing of future self-driving vehicles to Arizona. Yet not all cities and states were accepting of the testing. In fact, San Francisco doesn’t allow the autonomous cars on the roads after the California Department of Motor Vehicles banned the testing of Uber self-driving vehicles earlier in the Winter.

Uber’s self-driving tests were meant as a show of the companies continuing development of the new technology. Since it is one of many car companies who are currently in the race to produce a fully autonomous car in the next few years, Uber has continued to expand and further test its autonomous technology on car and SUVs alike.  However, Uber has had to dodge a few pot holes along the way. Waymo Alphabet Inc., who is also testing its own version of the self-driving car, sued Uber’s Otto unit the beginning of this year. The reason? Waymo claims that Uber stole the design for the device known as lidar which is a key component when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology.

Uber scuffed at the suit and dismissed it claims, calling them “baseless.”

This isn’t the first incident that Uber has been under scrutiny for. During the first few test runs that involved live human passengers, an Uber autonomous car was caught running a red light. Uber claimed that the incident was to be blamed on human error but further investigation proved that in Ubers reports the company noted that the car simply didn’t recognize the red light. Or five other lights after it.

Even though the Uber SUV accident that occurred this Friday proved no harm to any human involved, the incident itself shadows the scrutiny of Uber and its CEO. The company and its CEO Travis Kalanick are receiving accusations of sexist treatment in the workplace, as well as illegal performances.

The New York Times stated earlier this month that Uber was suspected of using a tool called Greyball. Greyball, it’s alleged, was used by Uber drivers to avoid not only law enforcement officials but government regulations.

After Bloomberg posted a video of Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver, the CEO admitted that he could use just a little bit of “leadership help.”

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Sharnita is a nerd at heart with a love of all things geeky. She also has this odd obsession with collecting books of all genre, ranging from contemporary to manga. When not writing, she can be found surfing the web and battling her online shopping addiction.