Uber Halts Self-Driving Car Tests After Arizona Crash

Image courtesy of fresconews user Mark Beach

Days after one of Uber’s self-driving test vehicles was involved in a crash in Arizona, the ride-hailing company says it will halt its autonomous experiment, at least for now.

Bloomberg reports that Uber suspended tests of its self-driving vehicles in Arizona and Pittsburgh following an apparent high-impact crash in Tempe, AZ over the weekend.

A spokesperson for Uber confirmed that one of its self-driving Volvos was involved in the crash on Friday and that the company would halt further autonomous tests until an investigation is completed. A photo of the aftermath was posted on Twitter, showing the Volvo on its side next to another vehicle with dents and broken windows.

Authorities in the city tell Bloomberg that the Uber vehicle was not responsible for the crash. A Tempe police information officer says a second vehicle failed to yield to the Uber car, which did have a driver behind the wheel. However, it’s unclear if the driver was controlling the vehicle.

The Uber spokesperson noted that there were no injuries reported and that no backseat passengers were in the vehicle at the time.

“We are continuing to look into this incident,” the rep said, referencing an internal investigation into the crash.

Uber has been testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh for about a year. Late last year, the company expanded that experiment to San Francisco, but did so without getting the proper permission from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. After the DMV revoked Uber’s registrations for the self-driving cars, the vehicles were packed up and sent to Arizona.

Earlier this month, Uber said it wasn’t giving up on the idea of testing in its home state and was willing to work with California to comply with regulations.