Uber closes its driverless car operations in Arizona


The XC90 represented here is the vehicle brand involved in the fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona. [19659003] Uber

Uber has decided to stop its driverless car program in Arizona.

The telephone company said on Wednesday it will withdraw from the state and that all of its 200 test drivers will be canceled. The news was reported for the first time by Arizona Republic. The move comes after one of Uber's driverless cars killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, in March, while in fully autonomous mode.

The accident happened at night and it was captured by video cameras inside the car . A video shows images of the pedestrian walking his bicycle through a dark road at the moment of impact. Another video shows the security driver sitting at the wheel, constantly looking at his lap. Look up just as the car collides with the pedestrian. The video is graphic and it is difficult to see.

Tempe police say the car did not slow down or turn when the pedestrian appeared on the road. He hit her while traveling at 38 mph.

For the most part, autonomous technology testing has shown that driverless cars are safe. But it is still a work in progress. The vast majority of vehicle tests have not been conducted on public roads, and cars are still learning to drive. The accident with the Uber driverless car is the first known death with a vehicle in fully autonomous mode.

Uber has worked with the Tempe Police the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Department of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a joint investigation to determine who or what was guilty of the accident.

"We are committed to autonomous driving technology, and we hope to return to public roads in the near future," said a Uber spokeswoman. "Meanwhile, we remain focused on our top-down security review, having invited the former NTSB president, Christopher Hart, to advise us on our overall security culture."

In addition to finalizing operations in Arizona, Uber temporarily halted its autonomous operations in every city where it has been testing its vehicles, including Tempe, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

The company said it will resume testing of its autonomous vehicles once the preliminary report of the federal investigation is made, which could be as early as this summer. The NTSB told CNET that the final report could take at least a year to complete.

Uber had a good relationship with Arizona in the past. For example, after the company's automotive program was suspended in California in 2016 Uber packed the vehicles and moved them to Arizona . The governor of the state, Doug Ducey, welcomed Uber with open arms.

Uber went on to pioneer in its autonomous semi-trailer program in the state, deploying a fleet of large autonomous platforms to move cargo across the state. However, after the driverless car accident in Tempe, Ducey said he suspended all Uber's autonomous tests on state roads.

In a letter to Uber's managing director, Dara Khosrowshahi, in March, Ducey said he had found the video of the deadly "disturbing and alarming" collision.

Along with its self-driving program, Uber said it is also withdrawing its driverless truck program from Arizona. He said he will probably start his truck operations in another state again, when the time is right. The company said it also has the ability to test trucks at its stand-alone vehicle headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although Uber's self-driving program was suspended in California in 2016, the company has been fine again. terms with the state. He said he has been in talks about testing autonomous vehicles with California Governor Jerry Brown, the state's motor vehicle department and the cities of San Francisco and Sacramento. The timetable for resuming these tests is not clear.

As for the 200 employees who were laid off in Arizona, Uber said he will help them with services such as curriculum and interview preparation, professional training and individual training while looking for a new job. Uber's core business will continue to operate in Arizona, along with its Uber Eats food delivery service.

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