Uber has put a hold on its self-driving car testing after one of the Autonomous Volvos was yet gain involved in a collision in Tempe, Arizona last week. According to Tempe police, the Uber Volvo SUV was found on its side after colliding with an incoming vehicle causing it to flip. They have mentioned that the Uber was not a fault and the crash was a result of the opposing driver failing to stop for the oncoming Uber.
Despite their efforts to launch into the self driving market with the same force they did the ride sharing app, it feels as if Uber are a on a constant uphill battle trying to get the project up and running. Just a few months ago another vehicle ran a red light. Although it was claimed to be human error that caused it, many sources have refuted such claims and this is obviously was a massive blow.
Furthermore, the company is being Sued by Waymo, Googles Self Driving corporation, for allegedly stealing a key component of its proprietary autonomous navigation technology. And now to top it off, an additional crash in front of hundreds of people.
The incident was spotted and photographed by Fresco News user Mark Beach.
BREAKING: Self-driving Uber vehicle on it’s side after a collision in Tempe, AZ.
— Fresco News (@fresconews) March 25, 2017
While the Tempe police have indicated no wrong doing towards the Uber vehicle, something The Next Web have noted is that it is very lucky that at the time there were no passengers in the back aa it was just a trial. Occasionally Uber does allow passengers in the back for trials when they hail an Uber X which is a little concerning. And as TechCrunch notes, the fact that the vehicle had tipped over on its side could mean that it was traveling at an unnecessarily high speed. Uber has reported that there were no serious injuries and that the SUV didn’t have any backseat passengers.
Some obvious speculation has been made as to why this accident has occurred regardless of whether the human driver was a at fault. With by passers speculating that had it of been 2 human drivers the crash may not have ever occurred. On the other hand, however, you could argue the same about having 2 automatic driving cars and at the same time be unsure about both of those alternatives. I believe something that Uber, Google and all self-driving car companies alike need to consider is the level that Non-Verbal communication plays in our day to day driving. The look you give someone to let them in, or the look you don’t give someone when you’re not concentrating. All of these little things let us know when it is safe to go and when we should be far more cautious…, and had the self-driving car possessed the technology to know that the oncoming car was not paying attention the way a human would, It could have been a whole different situation. Then again, 1.3 million people die from car crashes each year so who are we to judge.
At the end of the day, Cars a dangerous, a lot more dangerous than we like to think., and if we had of prohibited the use of manual cars after the 1st 2nd or even 1 millionth crash, we wouldn’t be driving today. It isn’t yet clear how soon Uber will be able to bounce back from this one. A spokesperson said it’s looking into the incident at present and a full Police report is expected next week. We will have to wait and see what happens and how long it takes for Uber to resume testing.
UPDATE: Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] put its self-driving cars back on the road on Monday, voicing confidence in its autonomous vehicle program three days after one of its cars was involved in a crash in Tempe, Arizona. Uber wrapped up a brief investigation and cleared its autonomous cars to resume driving in the three cities where it operates a self-driving pilot program – Tempe, San Francisco and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – an Uber spokeswoman, who declined to be named, told Reuters
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