Uber suspends self-driving-car tests in Pittsburgh, Arizona after crash

Uber is officially resuming all of its self-driving car tests after a big accident over the weekend

An Uber self-driving car was involved in an accident in Tempe, Arizona. Fresco News/ Mark Beach

Uber is resuming its self-driving-car pilot programs in Pittsburgh and Arizona beginning Monday afternoon. The programs were temporarily suspended after one of its vehicles was involved in an accident while operating in self-driving mode late Friday night.

One of Uber’s self-driving Volvo SUVs flipped onto its side after an accident in Tempe, Arizona. A photo of the scene demonstrated another car in the background with dents and smashed windows.

A Tempe police spokeswoman told Business Insider that the Uber vehicle was not responsible for the crash and that there were no injuries. The other car involved in the crash was cited for a moving disturbance.

Following the accident, Uber suspended its self-driving-car tests in all three of the company’s testing areas: Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Arizona. Uber lifted its San Francisco suspension on Monday morning and later resumed tests in the other cites as well.

Uber hasn’t used its self-driving cars in San Francisco to pick up passengers; the company is using its two vehicles there for mapping purposes, and they are being driven by hand.

Fresco News/Mark Beach

Uber launched its self-driving-car tests in Pittsburgh in September. Since then, the ride-hailing service has been picking up passengers in Ford Fusion cars retrofitted with Uber’s driverless tech.

Uber attempted to launch a 2nd self-driving-car program in San Francisco in mid-December but ran into issues with the California DMV. It had failed to obtain an autonomous-vehicle license before the launch, which led the DMV to revoke the registrations of the company’s sixteen autonomous vehicles. Uber had been planning to use its self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs for that program.

Uber then shipped its autonomous SUVs to Arizona on the back of one of its self-driving trucks.

The company tested its self-driving cars in California for just a week before moving them to Arizona. During that week, however, one of the cars was caught on movie running a crimson light at a busy intersection.

An Uber representative said at the time that the incident was due to human error, but employees told The Fresh York Times the car had been driving itself.

Since late January, Uber has been using two Ford Fusions with autonomous technology to map routes in San Francisco, but the cars have not been driving themselves. The cars will resume on Monday.

Company scrutiny

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Pictures

Uber is under intense scrutiny after a string of scandals.

The ride-hailing service is involved in a lawsuit over its self-driving technology.

Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving-car company, is accusing Uber of stealing the designs for its lidar system, a key sensor that helps autonomous cars detect obstacles. Waymo filed an injunction asking a federal judge to freeze Uber’s use of its self-driving tech.

Uber has also been accused of promoting a sexist workplace. Susan Fowler, a former engineer, published a blog post in February about harassment and gender bias she said she experienced at the company.

Shortly after, The Times published a bombshell report detailing a company retreat at which a manager groped several female employees. The manager was later fired, according to the report.

Uber also used a device called Greyball to evade government officials and regulators who were attempting to block the ride-hailing service, according to another Times report.

This story was updated Monday afternoon when Uber lifted its suspension for all self-driving-car tests.

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