Uber self-driving auto tests back on in San Francisco after crash

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing startup over the weekend pulled its autonomous vehicles from the road in all three cities after one auto was involved in a rollover crash Friday in Tempe, Arizona.

Also, unlike in Arizona and Pennsylvania, passengers are not allowed to ride in autonomous vehicles in California.

The Tempe accident isn't the first setback for Uber's self-driving ambitions that started materializing last September when the company initially started testing one of its autonomous fleets in Pittsburgh. A full police report on the crash is expected as early as the middle of this week, said Detective Lily Duran of the Tempe Police Department.

"We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no backseat passengers in the vehicle", said an Uber spokeswoman after the crash.

The company released 14 self-driving Ford Fusions in September at the Advanced Technologies Center in the Strip District. As is standard procedure, a driver was behind the wheel of the self-driving vehicle. Uber immediately stopped its self-driving auto program in Arizona after the crash.its fleet there [will] remain off the roads while the company continues its investigation into the accident.

The collision comes days after Uber's former president Jeff Jones quit less than seven months after joining the San Francisco-based company, the latest in a string of high-level executives who have departed in recent months. There have been fatal accidents involving Teslas in self-driving mode, however.

Testing hasn't been accident-free. The more road testing time it can get in, the better.

According commentators, there were indications that Uber had been left behind by rival Waymo in the development of driver-less cars.

Uber wrapped up a brief investigation and cleared its autonomous cars to resume driving in the three cities where it operates a self-driving pilot program.

Last year, a driver of a semi-autonomous Tesla - which is different from a self-driving auto - was killed with the car's Autopilot system engaged.

An image posted on Twitter of the high-impact incident shows the Volvo lying on its side, next to a vehicle with dents and smashed windows. A driver and an engineer were in the front seats of the Uber Volvo SUV at the time, a standard requirement for the self-driving cars. It's likely that the Volvo XC90's fantastic safety features helped save the lives of those involved in the crash.

No one has been reported seriously injured in the incident, and local police reports suggest the crash happened after a human-driven auto failed to yield to the Uber, driving into it and flipping it onto its side. Currently, only the Arizona self-driving trials have been stopped while an investigation takes place. Josie Montenegro, a police officer from Tempe, declared that the self driving Volvo was not responsible for the accident. All of these automated cars were taken off the streets while the company investigates the incident. The ride-hailing company has been accused of operating a sexist workplace. None of the GM cars have been involved in accidents, said Kevin Kelly, the company's spokesman for advanced technology projects.

  • Zachary Reyes