Uber Halts Self-Driving Car Program in Arizona After Accident (Update: Resumed)

Ride-hailing startup Uber, which is battling many a PR problem thanks to a wave of revelations about its toxic work culture from previous female Uber employees, put breaks on its self-driving car pilot program yesterday as it continues to investigate a car accident that occurred on Friday evening in Tempe, Arizona. The company confirmed that the car was in self-driving mode when another car hit it, causing it to roll on its side. There were no rear-seat passengers, and no serious injuries were reported.

Uber began testing its self-driving car program in Arizona last month after San Francisco revoked its registrations to operate them in the city the previous year following its refusal to apply for a $150 permit with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Uber had then asserted that the regulations surrounding self-driving cars don't apply to its vehicles. While it has since then backtracked on its stance and began testing two cars on San Francisco streets earlier this month, the incident will doubtless raise questions about who was controlling the car at the time of the collision - the autonomous software or the driver, even if the accident appears to have been caused by the other 'human' driver.

Update on March 27, 2017: Uber confirmed that it has resumed the pilot program in Arizona three days after the crash. Detective Lily Duran of the Tempe Police Department said "the Uber vehicle was not at fault in the collision," according to Reuters.