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Uber ordered to take its self-driving cars off the road

27 March, 2018, 18:53 | Author: Sara Gill
  • CC BY 2.0 Uber Volvo SUV checking out the streets of Toronto Lloyd Alter

Uber, which had already suspended operations on its own, said it would "keep a dialogue open" with Arizona.

The footage, which was made public by Tempe, Arizona, police last week, showed the outside and the interior of the Uber vehicle in the moments immediately before the auto collided with 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. "The company operating this vehicle should be named the driver, and held to at least the same standard of care as any other (human) driver". It was in autonomous mode at the time of the collision, with a vehicle operator behind the wheel.

The fatal collision on March 18 in Tempe, Arizona, has raised questions about the safety of autonomous technology in general, and of Uber's system specifically, of which few details are known.

Sadly, even after measures were put in place to stop the testing of Uber's autonomous cars, Arizona officials are said to ignore the issue. Waymo declined to say if it was changing its plans, but kept vehicles on the road in Arizona. They said this after the tragic accident in Arizona. "We're not pushing it out of our state".

The Arizona governor has directed the country's transportation department to suspend Uber's ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles. "From what I see in the video it sure looks like the auto is at fault, not the pedestrian".


Scarpinato said Monday that Ducey considers self-driving vehicles a way to improve public safety and limit road fatalities. All indications are that the vehicle did not brake before hitting her, suggesting that it did not "see" her.

Uber's self driving vehicles in Arizona have required human intervention on an average of every 13 miles (20.9 kilometres), which is significant when compared to the 5,600 miles (9,012 kilometres) between interventions required by Waymo's AVs in Californian trials. Court records show someone with the same name and birthdate as Vasquez spent more than four years in prison for two felony convictions - for making false statements when obtaining unemployment benefits and attempted armed robbery - before starting work as an Uber driver. 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.

Scene of the accident taken with a smartphone camera (top) versus Uber onboard camera (bottom).

Arizona does not require such reports to be filed with the state for testing here.

The chipmaker didn't specifically name the ride-hailing company, but it said "new entrants" have been diving into the self-driving auto market with half-baked technology.

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