Uber self-driving cars off the road after Arizona crash

Uber on Saturday said it has pulled all its self-driving cars from the road following a rollover crash involving one of its vehicles in Tempe, Arizona on Friday.

Cars in Pittsburgh and San Francisco were to remain out of service Sunday, and the company said it had no set date for their return. Uber already had stopped its self-driving car program in Arizona, and said its fleet there would remain off the roads while the company continues its investigation into the crash.

“We are continuing to look into this incident,” and Uber spokeswoman wrote in an emailed statement, “and can confirm we had no backseat passengers in the vehicle.”

The self-driving Uber wasn’t to blame in the crash, according to the Tempe Police Department. Another vehicle failed to yield to the Uber while making a left turn at around 6:25 p.m. Friday, causing the two vehicles to collide, and the Uber to roll onto its side, Sgt. Josie Montenegro wrote in an email. There were no serious injuries, and police cited the driver who failed to yield.
Uber says its car was in self-driving mode at the time. Per standard procedure, there was a driver behind the wheel of the car.

The incident could be a major step back for Uber’s self-driving car program, which already has faced several hurdles. Uber had just received permission from California regulators earlier this month to bring its self-driving cars back to San Francisco, after the Department of Motor Vehicles pulled the cars from the road because Uber refused to obtain the proper permit. Uber finally caved and agreed to apply for permission to test its cars.
The cars also had caused complaints while driving in San Francisco, with observers claiming they had run at least one red light and were making unsafe turns through bike lanes.

Photo: An Uber self-driving car waits to be demonstrated in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

 

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