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Uber halts self-driving cars after Arizona crash

By Eric DuVall
Uber halts self-driving cars after Arizona crash
Ride-sharing company Uber suspended its pilot program testing autonomous vehicles after one of them was involved in a crash in Arizona on Saturday. Police said the self-driving vehicle was not at fault and no serious injuries were reported. Photo by 360b/Shutterstock

March 25 (UPI) -- Uber suspended its pilot program testing self-driving cars after one of the vehicles was involved in an accident in Arizona, the company said Saturday.

The accident happened when a self-driving Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicle was struck by another vehicle that failed to yield when making a left turn. The SUV overturned and struck a third vehicle. No serious injuries were reported, police said.

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The Uber vehicle was not at fault for the accident, officers said.

The ride-sharing company has been testing self-driving cars in Tempe, Ariz., Pittsburgh and California for months as it undertakes one of the most ambitious autonomous vehicle projects in the country. Uber was forced to halt its California pilot project when the city of San Francisco and the state revoked vehicle registrations after a permitting dispute. The company has since applied for the state autonomous vehicle permit and has put two such cars back on the road there.

While technically self-driving, all of Uber's pilot vehicles have a driver behind the wheel who can take over control of the vehicle at any time. In Saturday's crash, the driver was the only individual inside and the SUV was operating in autonomous mode.

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The company released a statement on the incident, saying they are "looking into" what happened. They did not offer a timetable for when the self-driving vehicles would return to the road.

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