Uber has been testing its autonomous cars on the US roads for a while now. The cars have had several accidents since then, but on Friday 24th March, Uber’s self-driving Volvo SUV met the most serious of these accidents in Tempe, Arizona.
Uber has confirmed that the SUV was operating in the autonomous mode when the accident occurred. The company has suspended the autonomous vehicle operations to investigate the causes of the incident. No one was seriously injured during the crash. A Tempe police spokesperson said that the self-driving car was not at fault, it, in fact, was hit by another vehicle. Uber officials say that there were no passengers in the back seat when the accident happened.
Even if we can ensure that it was not the Uber’s self-driving car at fault, the incident has spiked so much debate about the already doubtful safety of autonomous vehicles.
This is not the first incident of its kind. Just last year ago a truck driver was killed when a Tesla in autopilot mode crashed into the truck. Google’s autonomous vehicles have also had some hiccups over the years.
Tech companies are working aggressively to develop safe autonomous cars. As much as people ar expecting them to replace traditional cars soon, that kind of future is not very close. Every few days, an incident occurs that makes the regulators question the reliability and safety of autonomous vehicles.
At the moment, Uber is going through the toughest times. The company is involved in a lawsuit over its self-driving technology. Waymo is suing Uber for allegedly stealing the designs for its lidar system. The company has also faced allegations of a sexist work environment and harassment. The company has also been said to use a Greyball tool to evade city regulators while the ride-hailing service was being blocked.
The accident sounds like another glitch in the company’s tougher times. We will have to wait and see how Uber deals with the situation and when will the autonomous cars be back on the roads of US.