Police say the human, not the car, was at fault
Uber will be resuming its self-driving car activities in Tempe and Pittsburgh, after an accident in Arizona led the company to temporarily suspend its autonomous driving pilots in those two cities, a spokesperson said.
By the end of the day, Uber’s fleet of self-driving Volvo SUVs will be picking up and dropping off passengers in both Tempe and Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, a handful of the company’s autonomous vehicles will be roaming the streets of San Francisco collecting mapping data and operating in self-driving mode, but not giving any rides to passengers. (Uber recently caved to California’s demand to register its self-driving cars in the state after initially refusing to do so.)
The program came to a grinding halt Friday when a self-driving Uber car was knocked onto its side by another vehicle. Police in Tempe say the self-driving SUV was obeying the law and the driver in the other car failed to yield. That person was cited for a moving violation after the Friday night crash, according to the AP.
Still, images of the wounded autonomous Uber quickly circulated on social media, becoming a metaphor for the current state of the popular ride-hailing company. Uber is currently embroiled in almost too many scandals to recount, including recent dust-ups over CEO Travis Kalanick’s visit to a South Korean karaoke-escort bar in 2014.
Likewise, Uber’s self-driving program hasn’t been immune to the company’s habit of continually stepping in shit. Waymo, Google’s self-driving car spinoff, recently sued Uber, alleging the theft of their self-driving secrets. Uber is expecting to submit its official side of the sordid sage in court later next month.