Uber's Autonomous Driving Program to Shut Down in Arizona Following Fatal Crash

Uber shutters self-driving car testing program in Arizona

Axios first reported Uber's plans to dismantle its self-driving testing operations in Arizona.

Uber is shutting down its Arizona-based self-driving auto operations in the wake of the collision that killed a pedestrian in March. A safety operator behind the wheel appeared to be looking down, and not at the road, moments before the crash, according to video from inside the vehicle released by police.

Public trust in the future of self-driving vehicles has dropped following a flurry of autonomous auto crashes in recent months. However, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto said in a statement 23 May that Uber had not told him its plans to resume testing.

The company also is talking with state officials in California, as well as the cities of San Francisco and Sacramento, about future driverless testing.

In a statement, the company said it was looking forward to getting back on the roads in the near future and that it remains committed to its "top-to-bottom" safety review.

No detailed explanation has been given for the decision to shut down its Arizona operations, which hosted around 300 workers.

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About 200 Uber employees in Arizona-many of them safety drivers-will lose their jobs, the Arizona Republic reports.

A number of companies in the United States, including Uber, are testing Autonomous cars. In an internal email to employees obtained by Ars Technica, Uber executive Eric Meyhofer said the company would turn its attention to its hubs in Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

Khosrowshahi has promised he won't allow Uber's self-driving cars back on public roads again until he is convinced the vehicles are safe. Arizona has no reporting requirements.

Uber has been working with the Tempe police, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a joint investigation to determine who, or what, was at fault in the accident.

Uber had a good relationship with Arizona in the past.

Pittsburgh was Uber's first city for autonomous vehicle testing, launched in 2016.

But Scarpinato said at that time it wasn't only the pedestrian death that caused his boss to have second thoughts to that open-door policy of testing of autonomous vehicles on Arizona roads. The company employs more than 550 people in the state.

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