Arizona crash leads to suspension of Uber’s self-driving car program

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According to Tempe, Arizona police, the accident occurred when the driver of a second vehicle ‘failed to yield’ to the Uber vehicle while making a turn.

Uber hasn’t been off to a great start this year when it comes to self-driving cars. First, Waymo — a Google company — is suing them for stealing trade secrets with regards to self-driving technology. Forging ahead, Uber began testing their autonomous car program in Tempe, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. Unfortunately, a crash involving one of their driverless cars in Arizona has caused the company to suspend the pilot program in those three cities.

“The accident occurred when the driver of a second vehicle ‘failed to yield’ to the Uber vehicle while making a turn,” said Josie Montenegro, a spokeswoman for the Tempe Police Department in an email to Reuters. “The vehicles collided, causing the autonomous vehicle to roll onto its side. There were no serious injuries.”

Uber followed up saying they are looking into the incident and mentioned that their vehicle did have a pair of safety drivers in the front seat. These drivers are a requirement for the pilot program, and the company recognizes that driverless cars still require human intervention in certain conditions. Having a human driver in another vehicle failing to yield to an autonomous vehicle is certainly one of those situations. Photos of the crash were posted on Twitter by Fresco news.

What do you think about Uber’s driverless car woes so far this year? Given the number of bad drivers on the road, do you think totally autonomous vehicles will ever become mainstream? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Reuters
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