Arizona blocks Uber from testing self-driving cars on state's roads

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Uber self-driving car

Uber self-driving car

Arizona on Monday blocked Uber from conducting further tests of self-driving cars on the state's roads as a result of last week's fatal crash involving a pedestrian and one of the test cars.

In a letter sent to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and shared with Bloomberg, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said he found a video of the crash released by police to be “disturbing and alarming.” He also said it raised “many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona.”

The video showed the test car moving at a constant speed with no attempt to slow down or swerve in the moments before the collision.

Ducey also issued an executive order that stipulates a company is liable if one of its self-driving cars negligently kills a person. The company that operates the vehicle would be found responsible, the governor said, and the company could be held criminally liable just like a person.

Uber had already stopped all testing of its self-driving cars immediately following the March 18 crash, but now the company will not be able to resume testing in Arizona.

The ride-hailing company has also been testing self-driving cars in California and Pennsylvania, and was temporarily blocked in the former due to a lack of suitable permits. One of the company's self-driving cars was also spotted running a red light during testing in San Francisco back in 2016.

Uber hasn't said when its self-driving cars will start testing again on public roads.

Arizona has been a popular spot for testing of self-driving cars due to its regulatory acceptance of the technology, plus its favorable light and weather conditions. Waymo plans to launch the first commercial service for self-driving cars in Arizona later this year.

 
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