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Uber suspends self-driving efforts after Arizona car crash

Posted: 27 March 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

Uber is putting its self-driving car tests on hold whilst it investigates a crash involving one of its vehicles over the weekend.

One of Uber’s self-driving Volvo SUVs appears to have collided with another vehicle whilst in autonomous mode. Photographs show the car lying on its side next to another badly damaged vehicle.

According to Police from Tempe, where the accident occurred, the company’s car was not at fault; the second car failed to yield for the Uber and caused it to flip over. There were no serious injuries as a result of the crash.

The Volvo SUV was carrying two engineers in the front and no backseat passengers but it is currently unclear whether the car was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash.

Pending further investigation, Uber has removed all its self-driving cars from the road in Arizona, as well as test sites in Pennsylvania and California.

A spokesperson for the police in Tempe said the crash happened when another car “failed to yield” to an Uber car at a left turn. Josie Montenegro said: “There was a person behind the wheel. It is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision.”

Google seeks to close Uber’s self-driving car project over patent row

The news of the crash follows recent difficult months for the company, which has seen a number of high-level executives quit and has faced criticism over workplace practices and ethics.

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