Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday ordered Uber Technologies Inc. to suspend testing autonomous vehicles on public roadways in the state, a rebuke by a former supporter that takes the company’s decision on testing out of its hands.
The governor’s decree follows the fatal crash of a self-driving Uber on a Tempe street two Sundays ago when it struck a pedestrian walking her bike across the street outside of a crosswalk.
Mr. Ducey, a Republican who welcomed Uber’s self-driving technology with open arms to Arizona in 2016, said in a letter to Uber’s chief executive that he had directed the state’s department of transportation to suspend the company’s ability to test the cars.
“Improving public safety has always been the emphasis of Arizona’s approach to autonomous vehicle testing, and my expectation is that public safety is also the top priority for all who operate this technology in the state of Arizona," Mr. Ducey said in his letter. “The incident that took place on March 18 is an unquestionable failure to comply with this expectation."