California says goodbye to Uber's driverless cars

Thursday, 29 Mar, 2018

In a Monday letter to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Ducey said he found a video of the accident, released last week by Tempe police, to be "disturbing and alarming, and it raises many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona". A local police chief has said Uber was likely not to blame, but others have been more skeptical, suggesting that the vehicle - and the safety driver in the driving seat - should have been able to see the pedestrian. The vehicle, which was in autonomous mode at the time, strikes and ultimately kills the 49-year-old woman. Now, it's been revealed that the company won't be renewing its autonomous vehicle permit in California, which expires on March 31.

Uber has been suspended from testing autonomous cars in Arizona state in the U.S. following an accident that killed a pedestrian last week.

Before the company could resume autonomous testing in California, it is required to apply for a new permit. The decision comes in the wake of a fatal accident involving one of the cars. An executive order signed by Ducey earlier this month requires only that testers submit a statement to state regulators attesting to their vehicles' safety.

The company immediately halted its autonomous vehicle operations in all cities where it'd been testing its vehicles, including Tempe, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

Doug Ducey shut down Uber's self-driver auto test on Monday, March 26, the San Francisco-based transportation service said it will "keep a dialogue open" with the governor's office. The Arizona ban Uber is yet another pushback for the entire autonomous industry that was on a smooth progress 10 days before.

Ducey notes that the incident is still under investigation, but nevertheless, he says, "Arizona must take action now". The acquisition of Otto subsequently led to a high-profile lawsuit in which Waymo, Google's self-driving auto sister company, accused Otto cofounder Anthony Levandowski of appropriating trade secrets.

On Friday, The New York Times reported that the company's own documents showed the testing program was rife with issues.

Additional technological tools marked for creation include a high-precision road map, and an artificial environment allowing for self-driving testing in simulated harsh weather conditions and during nighttime at the autonomous auto testing complex K-city. Toyota has also suspended its driverless vehicle tests, citing the "emotional effect" the incident could have on its test drivers.