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.
NEW: In light of the fatal Uber crash in Tempe, Governor Ducey sends this letter to Uber, ordering the company to suspend its testing of autonomous vehicles in Arizona indefinitely #12News pic.twitter.com/gO5BZB9P2e
— Bianca Buono (@BiancaBuono) March 27, 2018
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.”
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!
Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit is actively investigating
the details of this incident that occurred on March 18th. We will provide updated information regarding the investigation once it is available. pic.twitter.com/2dVP72TziQ
— Tempe Police (@TempePolice) March 21, 2018