Uber pulls self-driving car fleet following crash in Arizona
Uber has had its fair share of controversies and it can now add another: pulling all of its self-driving cars off the road following a car crash.
Having worked tirelessly on its autonomous car technology for years, Uber began trialling its fleet of self-driving Volvos on the road last year. Unfortunately, following a crash shrouded in uncertainty, the ride-sharing company has now pulled every single one of its autonomous cars off the road.
According to reports by the BBC, Uber’s crash took place at an intersection in Arizona – no-one was hurt in the incident. Tempe police information officer Josie Montenegro revealed that the crash occurred when a human driver “failed to yield” to the self-driving car at a left turn.
“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,” said Montenegro. All of Uber’s self-driving fleet have a person behind the wheel at all times for safety reasons, so now it’s a case of Uber reviewing what happened and finding what was at fault.
The collision resulted in the Uber car being toppled onto its side with another vehicle, presumably the one that hit it, in a bad state at the side of the road. It’s likely that the Volvo XC90’s fantastic safety features helped save the lives of those involved in the crash.
The news is yet another blow to the company after concerns around its app providing false information to authorities, as well as revelations that its offices are home to systemic sexism and that it seems to track user locations beyond that of a simple car journey.
To alleviate any customer concern around its self-driving fleet, Uber has pulled every autonomous car it owns off the road. Customers in Arizona, Pennsylvania and California will no longer be able to order a self-driving Uber until further notice.