Uber Shuts Self-driving Program in Arizona
SAN-FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — May 24, 2018
Uber Technologies Inc decided to shut down its self-driving car program in Arizona after a fatal accident involving one of its cars.
Uber’s autonomous vehicle program is still going on and will focus on limited testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and two cities in California, a spokeswoman said. She said, the company plans to resume self-driving operations this summer, but with smaller routes and fewer cars.
“We’re committed to self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the near future,” the spokeswoman said. Arizona’s conditions are almost ideal to test autonomous vehicles. But Arizona Governor Goug Duccey called off his permission of Uber’s self-testing, even though he gave the company a warm reception. He changed his mind after one of Uber’s autonomous Volvos ran down 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. A safety operator behind the wheel failed to prevent the accident. Later the police released the footage from inside of the car.
“The governor’s focus has always been on what’s best for Arizonans and for public safety, not for any one company,” Daniel Scarpinato, a spokesman for Ducey, said on Wednesday.
Uber said it’s still counting on self-driving technology to cut expenses before an initial public offering (IPO) next year. Autonomous Volvo SUVs in Arizona will be relocated to other cities while employees will be offered assistance in finding new jobs, the spokeswoman said. Around 300 workers will be laid off.