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Arizona Gov Suspends Uber's Self-Driving Tests Following Fatal Accident

Arizona Gov Suspends Uber's Self-Driving Tests Following Fatal Accident

Author: Eric Walz   

PHOENIX — The governor of Arizona has had enough of Uber, as the comapny rushed to beat out other companies in the self-driving car race. Governor Doug Ducey said on Monday said he was suspending Uber's ability to test of self-driving cars on the state's roads indefinitely, following a fatal accident involving a pedestrian on March 18.

Doug Ducey said in a letter to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi that he found video of the deadly collision "disturbing and alarming" and he had directed the state's department of transportation to suspend the company's ability to test the cars.

"Improving public safety has always been the emphasis of Arizona's approach to autonomous vehicle testing, and my expectation is that public safety is also the top priority for all who operate this technology in the state of Arizona," Ducey said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Arizona Republic. "The incident that took place on March 18 is an unquestionable failure to comply with this expectation."

Uber said last week it had temporarily halted its self-driving operations in all cities where it's been testing its vehicles, including Tempe, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

"We proactively suspended self-driving operations in all cities immediately following the tragic incident last week," Uber said in a statement Monday. "We continue to help investigators in any way we can, and we'll keep a dialogue open with the Governor's office going forward."

Ducey's decision is the second setback for Uber's self-driving project in two states. In December of 2016, the California DMV revoked the registrations of Uber's self-driving Volvos for not having the necessary autonomous test permit and after one of the SUVs ran a red light in downtown San Francisco.

In response, Uber shipped its fleet of Volvos to Arizona for testing. The vehicle involved in the pedestrian fatality was one of the vehicles Uber shipped to Arizona. Another accident involving one of Uber's self-driving Volvo's happened in Pittsburgh in late February.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is an automotive and technology reporter specializing in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over fifteen years of automotive experience and a B.A. in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the automotive industry and beyond. He has worked on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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