Uber suspends fleet of self-driving cars after crash

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Uber suspends their fleet of self-driving cars

The transportation network company, Uber Technologies Inc. has suspended its self-driving test cars in three US States pending an investigation into a Volvo SUV crash in Arizona

Photographs have appeared online showing the Uber car lying on its side next to another badly damaged vehicle.

Thankfully, there were no serious injuries during the crash but Uber are asking very serious questions about why and how this could happen.

The Uber Technologies car was carrying two engineers at the time but it is not clear whether the self-driving SUV was in self-drive mode at the time of the incident.

Uber has not been having a good time of it lately after being hit by a series of setbacks in recent weeks, one of which was the untimely departure of its president, Jeff Jones.

It seems, going by initial police reports, that the collision was caused by another driver who failed to give way to the self-driving car.

Despite the serious nature of the incident, the self-driving car does not seem to be at fault and no malfunction by the Uber vehicle was to blame.

Despite this, however, the company has removed all its self-driving cars from the road in Arizona, as well as test sites in Pennsylvania and California pending further investigation.

‘Failed to yield’

A police spokesperson in Tempe, Arizona, said the crash happened when another car “failed to yield” to an Uber car at a left turn. Josie Montenegro said:
“There was a person behind the wheel. It is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision.”
Like many self-driving cars around the world, Uber self-driving vehicles always have a human in the driving seat who can take over the controls just in case of incidents such as these.

Over the last few months, a number of high-level executives have quit Uber due to criticism over workplace practices and ethics.

As well as internal employee relations problems at the firm, there have also been legal issues which have hampered progress with the testing of its autonomous vehicle technology in California.

The latest crash, although not the fault of the technology, is certainly not going to help Uber’s image and assuage the fears of the public about the safety of self-driving cars.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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