Monday, 23 April, 2018

Arizona Governor Suspends Uber's Autonomous Program After Fatal Accident

Safety Board investigators examine a self-driving Uber vehicle involved in a fatal accident in Tempe Arizona U.S Arizona Governor Suspends Uber's Autonomous Program After Fatal Accident
| 30 March, 2018, 00:45

Herzberg's death is believed to give extreme liability challenges t to the development of self-driving vehicles.

Testing of an I-PACE equipped with Waymo self-driving technology will begin later this year, and the goal is to make it part of a Waymo driverless transportation service, according to Jaguar. Japanese auto giant Toyota also tapped the brakes on its autonomous vehicle testing after the Uber accident, while German titan BMW maintained pace.

When Uber decided in 2016 to retire its fleet of self-driving Ford Fusion cars in favour of Volvo sport utility vehicles, it also chose to scale back on one notable piece of technology: the safety sensors used to detect objects in the road.

As a result of the Tempe incident, there are three investigations (two federal, one local) now underway, as is Uber's own inquiry.

Uber executives have said self-driving vehicle technology is a key to the company's future.

Ptak, Ducey's spokesman, defended the tweet and other efforts to promote the company.

The Arizona Democratic Party blasted Ducey after the email revelations.

Arizona Governor Suspends Uber's Autonomous Program After Fatal Accident
Arizona Governor Suspends Uber's Autonomous Program After Fatal Accident

In that same 2015 executive order, Gov. Ducey also mandated the creation of the "Self-Driving Vehicle Oversight Committee", whose goal was to "advise... pertinent agencies how best to advance the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles on public roads".

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.

"Dara and I both know all of you have been through a lot of change, and that is not easy", Meyhofer wrote in the email obtained by Bloomberg.

The turning point appeared to be the release by police of the video from the dashboard of the Uber showing the moments before the Volvo hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg at almost 40 miles per hour as she crossed a road in Tempe. Experts told The Associated Press that the technology on Uber's auto should have spotted (name her) the pedestrian and the failure revealed a serious flaw.

The company also actively tests vehicles that drive themselves in the Canadian province of Ontario, including the state of Pennsylvania. In addition to this decision Uber will not renew its current permit to test autonomous vehicles in California.

Uber has about 200 vehicles at all four testing locations.


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