Uber Restarts Autonomous Car Tests After Arizona Crash

Uber put its self-driving cars back on the road yesterday, just three days after one of its cars was involved in a crash in Tempe, Ariz.

But despite the short setback in autonomous testing, the crash will not affect Uber’s self-driving partnership with Daimler AG.

In January, Daimler struck an agreement with Uber to include the German automaker’s self-driving vehicles on Uber’s ride-hailing network in the “coming years.”

“At the moment, both teams are working on the details of this potential cooperation,” a Daimler spokesperson told Mobility Buzz. “Therefore, we do not see this potential cooperation affected by the accident.”

The rideshare giant wrapped up a brief investigation of the crash yesterday, voicing confidence in its autonomous cars and confirming that the crash was due to human error of the other vehicle, and not Uber’s driverless technology, according to an Uber spokesperson.

On Friday, Uber suspended the testing in the cities after the crash, in which a human-driven vehicle “failed to yield” to an Uber SUV — driving in autonomous mode — while making a turn. The collision caused the SUV to roll onto its side, according to local news reports, but there were no serious injuries reported.

Uber has now resumed testing in the three cities where it operates a self-driving pilot program: Tempe, Ariz.; San Francisco, and Pittsburgh.

Uber’s pilot project allows users of its ride-hailing service to summon autonomous vehicles, while human-safety engineers remain behind the wheel. Uber started the project in Pittsburgh in September 2016 and expanded the pilot to Tempe, Ariz., earlier this month.

Uber did not respond to requests for comment.

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