Engineering news

Uber halts driverless car trials after crash


Uber has stopped its driverless car trials in the US after one of its vehicles was involved in an accident in Tempe, Arizona at the weekend.

The Volvo SUV, which had a person in the driver’s seat but was in self-driving mode, rolled onto its side after colliding with another vehicle.

Local police told Bloomberg News that the Uber vehicle was not to blame for the accident; a second car failed to stop for its vehicle and caused it to tip over.

A picture of the crash shows two other damaged cars sitting next to the Volvo, one of which has smashed windows and bad dent, suggesting the accident happened at some speed.

"There was a person behind the wheel," Tempe police information officer Josie Montenegro told Reuters. "It is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision."

Uber confirmed there were no serious injuries and there were no backseat passengers.

The company said testing in Arizona will be suspended pending the results of the investigation. It also suspended trials in Pittsburgh and San Fransisco.

Uber first began testing its self-driving cabs in Pittsburgh in August 2016, and launched trials in Tempe in February.

This is the second incident an Uber self-driving car has been involved in. The previous accident happened in California in December when one of its vehicles failed to stop at a red light.

The company is being sued by Waymo, a self-driving technology firm owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, for allegedly stealing a key component of its proprietary autonomous navigation technology.


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