A self-driving vehicle from Uber was involved in a car crash accident in Arizona on March 24 while the car was tested, being one of the most severe incidents to date involving electric cars. Thus, Uber was forced to suspend the testing of their autonomous vehicles in the US. A self-driving Volvo SUV from Uber was photographed on its side.
The Tempe police indicated that the car crash was not caused by Uber’s autonomous car
In the car crash, another car was involved, presenting smashed windows and dents. Fortunately, no one was severely hurt. The Uber Volvo SUV was functioning based on the autonomous mode when the accident happened. Uber decided to suspend the autonomous vehicle pilot in Arizona, investigating which was the cause of the crash. A representative from Uber argued that they are still searching to determine the cause of this car crash, confirming that they did not have passengers on the backseats of the electric car.
A spokesperson from Tempe police argued that the electric car was not responsible for the incident and was hit by another car which lost control. Despite this certainty, the accident will still trigger various debates concerning the safety of autonomous vehicles. Last year, another similar incident occurred when a Tesla self-driving car crashed into a truck. The car was operating in Autopilot mode.
The safety of Uber’s autonomous vehicles is now questioned
Tech companies and automakers are bound to create and test autonomous vehicles which some people believe that they could replace traditional vehicles. Nevertheless, there are still many questions to be answered, especially regarding reliability and safety of the technology with which regulators are still confronting. Uber released their autonomous vehicle pilot in Arizona last December after the confronted California regulators concerning the program.
The company tried to launch the program in California in mid-December. However, the automaker did not obtain an electric-car license before releasing the vehicle, leading to the revocation of Uber’s registration for their 16 self-driving cars by California DMV. Then, Uber shipped all its 16 autonomous Volvo XC90s to Arizona on their electric Otto truck.
Unfortunately, Uber’s self-driving pilot program developed in California for only a week. However, the company’s autonomous Volvo was captured running through a red light in front of the city’s Museum of Modern Art. At that time, a Uber representative argued that the incident was due to human error. Unfortunately, the car crash incident caused a lot of trouble for the automaker, their vehicles’ safety being now questioned.
Image courtesy of: wikipedia