Published: Tue, March 27, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Uber driver takes wrong turn and gets stuck on stairway

Uber driver takes wrong turn and gets stuck on stairway

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving auto subsidiary that settled a trade secrets dispute with Uber in February, told Forbes that their vehicles would have avoided the crash.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday sent a letter to the CEO of Uber on suspending the tests of self-driving cars on Arizona roads after a fatal accident March 18.

If that is the case, it may more raise questions with Uber's hiring decisions than this particular accident.

"The incident that took place on March 18 is an unquestionable failure to comply with this expectation [that public safety is the top priority]", the letter reads.

Uber put a temporary halt to its self-driving auto program in the USA after the March 18 accident that resulted in the death of a woman.

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 woman had been walking in the street in the city of Tempe when she was hit and died from her injuries in a hospital.

A video released by Tempe police showed the Uber auto moving at a constant speed with no attempt to slow down or swerve in the moments before the collision.

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In the week since the fatal accident that has shocked the nascent autonomous vehicle industry, increasing scrutiny has grown on the performance of Uber's vehicles, regulatory issues and the risks associated with public trials.

Uber has been testing its self-driving cars in a regulatory vacuum in Arizona.

Many other companies have a license to test the self-driving cars on roads in the US.

Uber has been testing its autonomous vehicles in Tempe since February 2017. In December 2016, he urged Uber to move its California testing to Arizona after California revoked the company's permits over an unpaid permit fee. "We think these investigations related to Uber need to play out so we can get the facts", he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are now investigating the crash. The Republic helped push recent legislation to allow self-driving auto tests without a human behind the wheel.

He called self-driving cars a critical technology that has the potential to provide extensive benefits, including improved vehicular and pedestrian safety "but that's only true if it's done right, with safety first, and not rushed".

While that redefinition won't help Uber's reputation or stock price in the short term, it could end up forcing the company to become more serious about safety, which could save the company in the long run.

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