Uber Kicked Out Of Arizona, Now Opts Out Of Tests In California


Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking her bicycle across an intersection late in the evening of March 18 when she was struck by the autonomous vehicle, police said.

Uber did not immediately respond to Fox News for comment. The exact nature of "autonomous mode" at that time has not been clarified by Uber. According to Reuters, Uber's self-driving auto only employed one Lidar sensor versus other its previous-gen self-driving test vehicle, the Ford Fusion which has seven Lidar sensors on board. The internal view of the camera showed the driver mostly looking down and not at the road seconds before the accident.

The March 18 fatality near downtown Tempe also presents an unprecedented liability challenge because self-driving vehicles, which are still in the development stage, involve a complex system of hardware and software often made by outside suppliers.

"We want you to know Arizona does want Uber".

The governor's staff pushed back, saying Ducey's embrace of Uber and autonomous vehicles was one of his administration's most visible and public initiatives and that there was no secret testing.

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Separate reports find that Governor Doug Ducey may have had an inappropriately close relationship with the ride-hailing giant, allowing testing on Arizona roads without public knowledge.

Update 3/28, 3:26 PM: Updated with comment from the Arizona governor's office.

In that same 2015 executive order, Gov. Ducey also mandated the creation of the "Self-Driving Vehicle Oversight Committee", whose goal was to "advise... pertinent agencies how best to advance the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles on public roads".

Experts have told The Associated Press that the SUV's laser and radar sensors should have spotted Herzberg, and the vehicle should have stopped.

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. The company said in a statement that it decided not to reapply for the California permit "with the understanding that our self-driving vehicles would not operate in the state in the immediate future". While the full ramifications of this incident continue to evolve, this cessation of testing will likely slow development by companies other than Uber as well.