Uber suspends self-driving car program in Pittsburgh

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.

The Uber vehicle was in the self-driving mode at the time of the crash. Seeing how Uber's vehicle wasn't at fault for the incident, it's still unclear why the company opted to suspend its self-driving tests, even though the decision was quickly rolled back. Apparently, the Uber driver (yes, there was a driver sitting in the car) was unable to take over the controls and the accident thus occurred.

There are no reported collisions involving Uber self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, where the company launched its first program in September, Pittsburgh police spokesperson Sonya Toler said. Last year, the Transportation Department released a policy paper outlining 15 guidelines for developers of self-driving cars. Currently, only the Arizona self-driving trials have been stopped while an investigation takes place. In states across the country, legislators are debating how to allow the vehicles to be tested on functioning streets without endangering passengers and other drivers. But the car's lack of blame heralds a welcome bit of good news-or at least, the absence of yet more bad news.

While no one was seriously injured in crash, car-hailing service says it will investigate the incident.
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Ducey doesn't believe self-driving vehicle testing needs extra regulations because drivers can take over if something goes wrong, but his office said Monday after the accident that "public safety remains our top priority and we will continue to monitor the situation closely". None of the GM cars have been involved in accidents, said Kevin Kelly, the company's spokesman for advanced technology projects.

A number of executives have quit in recent weeks, including the president, Jeff Jones.

The New York Times also revealed the company's use of the "Greyball" program that helped Uber identify law enforcement agents who may be trying to catch it operating illegally in some places. At the time of the crash, the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode. Since then, Uber clashed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regarding testing permits it argued are unnecessary and was also hit with a lawsuit filed by Alphabet's self-driving unit Waymo that alleges the company stole LiDAR designs and other trade secrets with the goal of catching up to its competitors.

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