Uber halts driverless car program after crash in US

By Reuters   March 26, 2017 | 08:07 pm PT
The company suspends its pilot program for driverless cars after a vehicle equipped with the technology crashed in Arizona.

Uber is putting the brakes on its pilot program for driverless cars after this crash on a Tempe, Arizona roadway.

Police say it happened Saturday when a driver failed to yield to the Uber vehicle while making a turn, the force of the collision sending the driverless SUV rolling onto its side.

Two safety drivers were in the front seats of the Uber, which was in self-driving mode.

There were no serious injuries. But the investigation prompted Uber to ground its ongoing experiment with autonomous vehicles in Arizona, Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

Uber launched the pilot program last year, saying driverless cars "require human intervention in many conditions, including bad weather." It also said the new technology had the potential to reduce the number of traffic accidents in the country.

Saturday's incident is not the first time a self driving car has crashed.

Last year, a Florida driver operating a Tesla Model S in autopilot mode was killed in a collision with a truck. And a Google self-driving vehicle in California smashed into a bus while trying to navigate around it.

The latest crash coming just days after Uber's former president Jeff Jones quit less than seven months into the job, the latest in a string of high-level departures.

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