Following a fatal strike of a pedestrian last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced a ban on all of Uber’s self-driving cars on the state’s public roadways. Ducey penned a letter to Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi on Monday explaining the move.
The governor told Khosrowshahi Uber’s ability to test the technology on public roads is banned indefinitely because of the crash. Uber operates over 150 driverless cars and several autonomous semi-trucks. Both types of vehicles were banned.
Last week, an Uber driverless car rammed into a 49-year-old pedestrian and killed her. The woman was slowly walking a bicycle across the street, so it is unclear why the car’s sensors failed to detect her.
The Tempe police released footage of the crash which clearly showed that the driverless car failed to spot the woman on the road. Also, the safety driver, who was supposed to take control of the car in such situations, failed to see the woman.
Arizona Governor Blasts Uber over the Accident
Ducey argued that public safety comes first in the case of driverless vehicle testing. The governor criticized Uber for failing to meet the state’s safety standards and described the March 18 crash “an unquestionable failure” to meet those standards.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have both launched an investigation into the incident. It isn’t clear what caused the accident.
Uber put on hold the driverless car testing in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Arizona following the crash. Sources said the company halted its autonomous semi-truck testing as well.
We proactively suspended self-driving operations in all cities immediately following the tragic incident last week,
the company announced yesterday.
It pledged to continue to cooperate with the investigators and Governor’s office.
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