Uber self-driving programme runs into problems 0

Uber-self-driving-programme-runs-into-problemsUber’s self-driving car development program has temporarily hit the buffers after a crash in Arizona that resulted in one of its vehicles ending up on its side. The enterprising car-hire firm was forced to suspend its pilot commercial service over the weekend, after a further problem in a testing process that has already been plagued by issues.

The firm had already faced regulatory pushback, the loss of important staff members, plus a potentially decisive legal issue that could grind the entire autonomous project in its tracks. Uber has been a late arrival to the self driving party, rivals such as Waymo, a company under the Google umbrella, and Tesla. It has been the first of the companies developing self driving technology to make ambitious statements as to when fare paying passengers would be able to use its autonomous vehicles.

To date, during the testing process the firm has had two employees sat in the vehicles front seats to monitor and seize control in case of error. No Uber customers were in the Volvo car that was involved in the shunt in Tempe, Arizona on Friday evening. An initial police report into the accident suggested that another vehicle was culpable for the accident, but it didn’t take into account whether the Uber vehicle could have done more to avoid the accident. Until the exact circumstances are established the country has removed its vehicles from the road. A spokesman for the company said on Saturday: “We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no back-seat passengers in the vehicle.”

Sergeant Damon DeSpain, of the Tempe police department, said the Uber vehicle had been travelling south on McClintock Drive – one of the city’s major boulevards – when “another vehicle failed to yield while turning left” in front of it.

“The vehicles collided causing the autonomous vehicle to roll on to its side,” he added. Tempe police said there were “no serious injuries” from the accident.

The Uber vehicle was apparently in self-driving mode at the time of the accident and amongst the question that have been raised as a result are whether the vehicle’s front sensors and camera could have been faster to detect and react to the other car.

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