Last week’s fatal crash where an autonomous Uber SUV struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, AZ led to Uber suspending the use of its self-driving operations. Now, it appears that Arizona’s governor has suspended Uber’s permission to test its cars in the state. Uber had already halted testing nationwide after what happened, this is an interesting turnaround after Gov. Doug Ducey (R) had openly-welcomed self-driving testing from many companies that goes back several years. Just a few weeks ago, Ducey started to allow autonomous vehicle testing in order to test without a safety driver.
In the recent crash, the test driver was behind the wheel, but neither the driver or the car reacted fast enough to avoid a woman who crossed in front of the car. In a letter to Uber, the Wall Street Journal reports Ducey said “my expectation is that public safety is also the top priority for all who operate this technology in the state of Arizona..The incident that took place on March 18 is an unquestionable failure to comply with this expectation.”
In a statement to The Jolt Journal, an Uber spokesperson said “We proactively suspended self-driving operations in all cities immediately following the tragic incident last week. We continue to help investigators in any way we can, and we’ll keep a dialogue open with the Governor’s office going forward.”