Arizona's governor announced on Monday he was suspending Uber from testing autonomous vehicles in the state a week after a woman was hit and killed by one of the company's driverless cars in Tempe.
The move by the Republican governor marks a major step back from his embrace of self-driving vehicles. Additionally, the company was discussing with Uber to start the test drives and to purchase the vehicle before the tragic accident.
On March 21, police in Tempe released a 22-second video from the exterior and interior of the vehicle showing a woman walking from a darkened area onto a street just before an Uber SUV strikes her.
Uber puts potential vehicle operators through a four-week training program that begins with a written assessment of a person's car knowledge car and rules of the road, as well as driving tests conducted in a standard, non-self-driving car. The driver looks up and appears startled during the last moment of the clip. So as we develop self-driving technology, safety is our primary concern every step of the way.
The CEO of Waymo, the Google subsidiary tasked with developing driverless cars, has said the recent death of a pedestrian in an accident involving an autonomous auto would not have occurred with his company's technology.
Not only Toyota; Uber also stopped test drives of these cars from their call centers of San Francisco, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Arizona.
"The detail we capture with our custom LiDAR is so high that not only can we detect pedestrians all around us, but we can tell which direction they're facing", Waymo said.
Arizona had been a key testing hub for Uber, with about half of the company's 200 self-driving cars and a staff of hundreds based in the south-western USA state. The documents showed trouble with driving through construction zones and requiring far more human intervention than competing companies.
For the time being, Uber has halted all public-road testing of its self-driving cars as the investigation into the accident continues.
Arizona does not require such reports to be filed with the state for testing here.
"As governor, my top priority is public safety".
Sam Abuelsmaid, an analyst for Navigant Research who also follow autonomous vehicles, said laser and radar systems can see in the dark much better than humans or cameras and that the pedestrian was well within the system's range. These failures are traceable even after the fatal crash in Arizona about a year ago.
"I think we have prudent, responsible regulation", Scarpinato said.