Arizona governor suspends Uber from autonomous testing

How the future of self-driving cars looks in Arizona

A fatal accident involving a driver-less auto has sidelined Uber vehicles here in Pittsburgh and across the nation, and now Mayor Bill Peduto is weighing in on when they might be back on the local roads. The DMV's Deputy Director Brian Soublet sent a letter to Uber saying that its current autonomous vehicle testing permit expires on March 31 and if the company wants to resume operations again in the state it must apply for another permit.

Arizona has portrayed itself as a more-welcoming, less-regulated environment for testing self-driving technology, and the state's governor, Doug Ducey welcomed Uber there a year ago. A spokesman for Uber speaking to Jalopnik even said that since the company had suspended its testing across the continent following the collision, it would not be testing in the immediate future and so did not need the permit.

On Monday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who wooed Uber to his state in 2016 with promises of a much less-regulated environment than California, suspended the company from testing its autonomous vehicles in his state, calling the onboard video of the Tempe crash "disturbing and alarming".

According to the emails published by the Guardian, Chhabra contacted Seiden on August 19, 2016, to alert him that Uber would begin "testing some self-driving functionality" starting that weekend.

Uber is still allowed to test on public roads in Pennsylvania and Ontario.

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The company immediately halted its autonomous vehicle operations in all cities where it'd been testing its vehicles, including Tempe, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. "The incident that took place on March 18 is an unquestionable failure to comply with this expectation".

Ducey had previously been a strong supporter of testing self-driving vehicles in his state. Experts have told The Associated Press that the SUV's laser and radar sensors should have spotted Herzberg, and the vehicle should have stopped. Interviews with former Uber employees reveal that the company's haste to get its cars on public roads resulted in some cut corners, most notably scaling back the number of sensors used to detect objects on the road.

The crash is being investigated by Tempe police, the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

They reveal how Uber offered workspace for Ducey's staff in San Francisco, praised the governor lavishly, and promised to bring money and jobs to his state. Unlike California, Arizona does not have a permitting system for autonomous vehicles.

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