Uber Scraps Self-Driving Car Tests

Uber Scraps Self-Driving Car Tests
The ride hailing service has stopped its autonomous vehicle tests after a fatal accident in Arizona.

(CCM) — The future of self-driving cabs has been plunged into doubt following a fatal accident caused by an autonomous Uber vehicle, Tech Times reports. The car, which was being tested in Tempe, Arizona, with a backup driver sitting behind the wheel, hit a pedestrian wheeling a bicycle at about 40 mph.

Self-driving cars have been involved in a number of accidents, but this is believed to be the first time that an autonomous car has been involved in a fatal collision.

"Our hearts go out to the victim's family," said Sarah Abboud, an Uber spokeswoman. "We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident."

Following the accident Uber has called a halt to all its autonomous vehicle testing in Tempe, as well as in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto, according to the report.

Ride-hailing service Lyft, electric vehicle maker Tesla, Ford, General Motors, and other companies are also planning to introduce self-driving cars in the future, but the fatal accident is likely to make it harder for these companies to get permission to carry out testing on public roads in the future.

More than twelve U.S. states permit autonomous vehicles on their roads, although in most cases a backup driver is required to be in the car or connected remotely to the vehicle. National safety guidelines for autonomous vehicles are also under development, but have not yet been finalized.

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