Arizona suspends Uber's driverless auto testing after deadly accident

Sean Reid
March 30, 2018

Waymo early this year announced it was ordering "thousands" of minivans from Fiat Chrysler to expand its self-driving taxi program, which is launching this year in Phoenix, Arizona.

"I want to welcome Uber to Arizona".

Separate reports find that Governor Doug Ducey may have had an inappropriately close relationship with the ride-hailing giant, allowing testing on Arizona roads without public knowledge. The internal view of the camera showed the driver mostly looking down and not at the road seconds before the accident.

"Starting this weekend, we'll start testing some self-driving functionality". After impact, the safety driver looks up, stunned.

"I'd also like our team to be able to give local PD a heads up". Another five state governors have issued executive orders, including Arizona, according to the NCSL.

Driverless cars have remarkable potential to make streets and highways safer than they've ever been.

The governor's self-driving oversight committee met for the first - and only - time in August 2016. The suggestion: Uber and Gov. Ducey kept the switch to self-driving a secret.

Other companies with autonomous auto projects, including Toyota and Nvidia, have temporarily halted self-driving vehicle tests on public roads. "In addition, the Governor has also demonstrated he will hold companies accountable when necessary, as his letter to Uber this week indicates". In a remarkable statement, given that Uber's vehicle ran down and killed a pedestrian at night, the president of the company that builds Uber's LIDAR sensors, Marta Hall of Velodyne, told Reuters: "If you're going to avoid pedestrians, you're going to need to have a side LIDAR to see those pedestrians and avoid them, especially at night".

The San Francisco Police Department said an investigation is ongoing and it is not yet clear whether the driver will be cited.

Later in the day, the New York Times reported on the kind of safety and performance information Arizona doesn't require of driverless operators. They show that Ducey's staff worked closely with the company as it began experimenting with autonomous vehicles that the company began testing on public roads in August 2016 without informing the public.

"Allegations that any company has "secretly" tested self-driving cars in Arizona is 100% false", said Patrick Ptak, senior press secretary and spokesman for Governor Ducey's office.

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