Uber halts driverless vehicle program after Arizona crash

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Uber has suspended its autonomous auto pilot scheme, grounding all vehicles while it investigates a crash in Arizona that involved one of its self-driving cars. Vehicles in its pilot service also have two employees in the front seats to monitor and take control in case of problems.

Although the firm has said it is "continuing to look into this incident", Uber has confirmed that the auto involved, a heavily modified Volvo SUV, was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash. As is standard procedure, a driver was behind the wheel of the self-driving vehicle.

The accident has once again raises questions regarding the safety of autonomous driving technology and how it will interact with other drivers on the road.

An autonomous Volvo XC90 was involved in a collision where another auto failed to yield to the self-driving SUV, causing it to flip over. There were no reports of serious injuries.

The testing of Uber's self-driving cars began in Arizona after the California Department of Motor Vehicles banned them in December.

The accident in Arizona involving an Uber self-driving vehicle is just the latest crisis to hit the company. The company had asked Uber to first get special permits for the self-driving technology.

Following the accident, Uber was forced to suspend its self-driving tests, which is a huge blow to the company's ambitions of dominating the driverless cab market. The company, however, seems to be now holding off its plans to restart operations in the remaining two states. The spokesperson said as the investigation continues, it has grounded self-driving fleets in San Francisco, Tempe and Pittsburgh.

In February this year, Waymo, Google's self-driving auto project filed lawsuit against Uber for allegedly using its stolen technology. However, the picture of the crash looked scary enough to force Uber to retract its pilot program. "The vehicles collided causing the autonomous vehicle to roll on to its side", he added. The reason why this crash is so highly important it's because a driverless vehicle was involved in it.

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