As of Saturday (March 26), Uber confirmed that it will be suspending testing of its self-driving vehicle program. The announcement came after a autonomous vehicle was involved in an Arizona crash.
Though there was a human behind the wheel, the car was in self-drive mode and was hit when another driver failed to yield appropriately. The Volvo XC90 SUV was rolled onto its side as a result of the crash. Neither driver was seriously injured by the accident.
“We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no backseat passengers in the vehicle,” noted Uber spokeswoman Chelsea Kohler.
Following the crash, Uber is pressing pause on testing its self-driving vehicle fleet in Arizona while the accident remains under investigation. The reports of an autonomous vehicle flameout come at a particularly tough time for the ride-sharing firm, which seems to be stuck in scandal mode in 2017.
Though Uber has not been found to have been at fault in the accident, it is unhelpful as the firm is pushing toward a self-driving future with testing under way in Pittsburgh and San Francisco as well. That testing has been paused for the time being, and there are no reports on when it will begin again as yet.
Uber has already faced difficulty testing of self-driving vehicles in San Francisco, particularly around registering for permits. Uber’s cars also didn’t distinguish themselves brilliantly while being tested as a car failed to recognize a stoplight and sailed full speed through a crosswalk. When the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the registrations for Uber’s self-driving cars, Uber relocated to Arizona for testing, as there are less rigorous permitting requirements.