Arizona Governor Suspends Uber’s Autonomous Program After Fatal Accident

Following last week’s fatal crash involving one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles and a pedestrian, Arizona Gov. Douglas Ducey has ordered the company to stop testing its driverless cars on public roads in the state, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to a tweet by Bianca Buono, a reporter for 12 News, Ducey sent the following letter to Uber, suspending the company’s autonomous program in the state indefinitely.

After the accident, Uber temporarily suspended its self-driving program in Arizona, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and San Francisco. Uber also stated that it was cooperating with authorities in regard to the ongoing investigation. But that wasn’t enough for Ducey, who found the on-board footage of the incident, which you can watch below, to be “disturbing and alarming.”

Read: Volvo supplier says Uber had disabled the XC90’s standard collision avoidance system

The fact that some experts have come out and stated that Uber’s autonomous vehicle should’ve have been able to avoid the incident doesn’t bode well for the company’s tech, either.

As the WSJ reports, Gov. Ducey welcomed Uber and its self-driving vehicles into Arizona in 2016 with open arms after the company was kicked out of California as a way to look into improving public safety. Obviously, after the incident, Ducey has changed his mind regarding Uber’s program.

Patrick Ptak, a spokesman for Mr. Ducey, told the outlet that the governor is leaving the door open in case new info concerning the accident arise: “We will reassess as more facts are brought to light through the investigations,” he said.

Before the accident, Uber, as a patent reveals, was looking into ways of communicating with pedestrians outside of self-driving vehicles via lights and sounds. Although this came out after the accident, if the company had introduced the technology onto its vehicles before putting them on the streets, perhaps it could have been avoided.

Warning: Graphic content below!


  • Six_Tymes

    normally i don’t like lawyers, obviously not all are bad. But i do hope this poor ladies family is suing. Wrongful death is one, i can think of 2 other reasons.

    • FlameWater

      Wrongful death how? She was jaywalking on a improperly lit street.

  • Mark KQZ

    I feel for the family. However, why in the world was she crossing at night and not looking to see if it was clear? The car had lights on, she is crossing in a very dark spot, and just not paying attention. If I was driving I doubt I would have reacted in time. This hardly justifies banning anything except the requirement for bikers to have lights on front and rear, cross at designated areas, and just pay attention as a user of the same roads cars do. You have a responsibility for your own safety.

    • Jay

      I think your reaction time would’ve been fine. When you drive do you look beyond what you headlights illuminate? Most people do. The video camera has a hard time capturing what’s not lit by the headlights but your eyes should’ve been fine seeing her before the car had light on her.

      • Mark KQZ

        Maybe so, but still, the responsibility for this lies with the biker, had she been at a crosswalk, looking to see if there are car lights approaching at any speed, reflective gear, and waiting this would not have happened. Lets say I was driving, and I had seen her a few seconds before, the difference could have been me off the road or roll over due to the sudden swerve that would have been required.

        Bikers, and I am one of them, share the road and should understand our responsibility for our safety. Assuming oncoming cars, at night, at speed will stop for me, or even see me (without lights/reflective gear), is foolish at best. Again, lights on your bike, a reflective vest and vigilance is key. Assume you can’t be seen and behave accordingly. My guess is had the biker made some common sense decisions, we would not have a story to comment on.

        • Jay

          Sort of but, there are some crosswalks that aren’t lit and just have the lines on the ground accompanied by signs on the side of the road. You have a big responsibility behind the wheel and most of the time that’s driving for other people.I guess I’m just used to people jaywalking. They cross when ever they please so I just have and eye out for thing like this as one would a deer in wooded area.

  • raikkonen

    Absolute joke.

    According to the national annual statistics provided by both the NHTSA and CDC, there have been 162 pedestrian deaths caused by a driven motor vehicle SINCE this accident occurred on Sunday, March 18th.

    In addition to these deaths, there have been 3,887 pedestrian injuries, necessitating at the minimum, emergency medical attention. Again, these are injuries that have been sustained SINCE this accident occurred on the 18th.

    As the accident has been deemed “unavoidable”, are we to assume all motor vehicles have been banned in the united States?

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