Recently, a self-driving Uber SUV ran over a 49-year old pedestrian and killed her. Uber was testing its self-driving car in Tempe, Arizona, when the unfortunate incident took place. The Uber car hit the woman at around 10 p.m. on March 18 and during the collision, the car was traveling at 38 miles per hour and did not apply the brakes. The incident raised questions about how safe and accurate are the upcoming driverless cars on public roads.
Now, as per the latest reports, the Arizona governor has suspended Uber’s ability to test self-driving cars on public roads. This decision to prohibit Uber Technologies Inc’s self-driving cars from testing is a blow to the company’s target of becoming the market leader in providing driverless vehicles to the customers. Ubers feels that, due to this block, its competitors, like Alphabet Inc’s Waymo will move ahead.
After the March 18 accident, a letter was sent to Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi in which the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey mentioned that he saw the crash video released by the police and found it disturbing and alarming and raising many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona. As per the reports, the police, as well as safety regulators, are currently investigating the March 18 crash in which a 49-year woman was killed by a self-driving Uber SUV while he was crossing a four-lane road. Ducey defined the accident as an unquestionable failure. He said, “In the best interests of the people of my state, I have directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to suspend Uber’s ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles on Arizona’s public roadways.”
Last year, Ducey had invited Uber to Arizona with celebration and had said, Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads. Although contrasting, Ducey’s decision to block Uber’s ability to test driverless cars on public roads is welcomed by the people of Arizona. After the Governor’s order, Uber has pulled out its self-driving cars from Arizona roads and in a statement, it has said that that it will keep a dialogue open with the Governor’s office to address any concerns they have. Arizona was Uber’s key location to carry forward the testing of its self-driving vehicles. Out of around 200 self-driving cars of Uber, about 100 cars were present in Arizona along with more than 100 staffs. Previously, after the California regulators shut down the self –driving fleet of Uber for not having correct permits, the company decided to move its driverless cars from San Francisco to Arizona.