California authorities won’t be renewing the permit for Uber’s self-driving car program following a fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona. Uber confirmed that it would not apply for a new permit with California’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
Uber also said that its self-driving cars won’t operate on public highways “in the immediate future.” The company agreed to voluntarily put on hold all its autonomous car tests in the U.S. and Canada.
The California permit will expire on March 31. A DMV spokesperson said that the agency will review permit applications starting April 2. Yet, that does not guarantee that a driverless car maker will get the approval if it doesn’t meet all the requirements.
A spokesperson for chipmaker Nvidia announced Tuesday that it will suspend its self-driving car program as well. Nvidia is Uber’s main chip supplier for autonomous vehicles and it has been testing five autonomous cars in New Jersey and California.
The chip maker added that it will resume the program as soon as “Uber’s incident” in Arizona is resolved. “The entire industry will learn from this incident,” Nvidia said.
Uber’s Self-driving Car Program Suspended in AZ
In Arizona, Uber’s self-driving car program was put on hold by Governor Doug Ducey. The crash involved a driverless car and a 49-year-old woman who was crossing the street walking her bicycle. For some mysterious reason, the infrared sensors on the Uber car failed to detect her on the road.
Ducey penned a letter to Uber’s management, slamming the company for what he calls an “unquestionable failure” to keep Arizona’s pedestrians safe. Initially, the local police said the collision was “unavoidable,” but after footage of the accident was released that sentiment changed.
The governor described the footage as “disturbing and alarming” in his letter while questioning Uber’s ability to further test the driverless technology in The Copper State.
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