Uber suspends self-driving car program after Arizona crash

An image from a video distributed by Fresco News shows a Volvo flipped on its side after an apparent collision involving two other vehicles in Tempe, Ariz.
An image from a video distributed by Fresco News shows a Volvo flipped on its side after an apparent collision involving two other vehicles in Tempe, Ariz.

Uber Technologies Inc. has suspended its pilot program for autonomous vehicles after a vehicle equipped with the nascent technology crashed on an Arizona roadway, the ride-hailing company and local police said.

The accident, the latest involving a self-driving vehicle operated by one of several companies experimenting with autonomous vehicles, caused no serious injuries, Uber said.

Even so, the company on Saturday said it was grounding the vehicles involved in a pilot program in Arizona, Pittsburgh and San Francisco pending the outcome of investigation into the crash Friday evening in Tempe.

"We are continuing to look into this incident," an Uber spokeswoman said in an email.

The accident occurred when the driver of a second vehicle "failed to yield" to the Uber vehicle while making a turn, said Josie Montenegro, a spokeswoman for the Tempe Police Department.

"The vehicles collided, causing the autonomous vehicle to roll onto its side," she said in an email. "There were no serious injuries."

Two 'safety' drivers were in the front seats of the Uber car, which was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash, Uber said in an email, a standard requirement for its self-driving vehicles. The back seat was empty.

Photos and a video posted on Twitter by Fresco News, a service that sells content to news outlets, showed a Volvo XC90 crossover flipped on its side after an apparent collision involving two other slightly damaged cars. Uber said the images appeared to be from the Tempe crash scene. Gina Cherelus/Reuters

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