Enlarge / Uber is hitting the big red “Stop” button after a crash in Tempe, Ariz., left one of its self-driving Volvos beached on its side. (credit: ANGELO MERENDINO/AFP/Getty Images)
Uber is having a tough time lately.
Its CEO went viral arguing with a driver, and its president has just thrown in the towel.
In the past few weeks, the ride-hailing service has been mired in sexual abuse scandals, subject to a consumer boycott, and accused of stealing self-driving secrets. Uber probably wishes the last of those items was the complete extent of its self-induced self-driving headache.
But now, a crash on the streets of Tempe, Arizona left an autonomous test vehicle on its side and Uber’s self-driving program suspended.
BREAKING: Self-driving Uber vehicle on it’s side after a collision in Tempe, AZ.
Photos by @fresconews user Mark Beach pic.twitter.com/5NCF2KG0rW
— Fresco News (@fresconews) March 25, 2017
The vehicle—a Volvo XC90—was driving autonomously with a pair of Uber engineers up front but no passengers, when another vehicle failed to yield. No one was seriously injured, and the incident occurred on a stretch of road that locals say “isn’t very safe.”
Although it doesn’t appear that this crash was caused by the self-driving vehicle, Uber grounding its research fleet is probably a wise move, even if it feels out of character.
This is, of course, the company that got into a fight with California regulators over whether or not it needed permission to play with autonomous vehicles on public streets (it did) and was also caught actively dodging regulations in the US and around the world.
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