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Arizona bans Uber from resuming self-driving car tests

Uber autonomous vehicle

Ride-hailing app Uber has been banned from resuming self-driving tests in Arizona by the US state’s governor.

Uber temporarily suspended all tests of its autonomous vehicles across the US last week after one of its cars hit and killed a pedestrian while in self-driving mode in Tempe, Arizona.

Arizona governor Doug Ducey wrote to Uber to claim that there had been an “unquestionable failure” by the technology firm to make safety its top priority.

Ducey also referred to a video of the accident, which shows the driver of the vehicle looking down instead of at the road for several seconds before the crash.

"I found the video to be disturbing and alarming, and it raises many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona," said Ducey in his letter.

Ducey has ordered state officials to suspend Uber’s permission to use self-driving vehicles on public roads in Arizona until investigations into the fatal crash has been concluded.

In a separate move, Uber is not applying to renew its testing permit for autonomous vehicles in California while it awaits the findings of the investigation in Arizona.

Investigators from the US National Transportation Safety Board are currently looking into the Arizona accident. This probe is focusing on “the operating condition of the vehicle, driver interaction with the vehicle and opportunities for the vehicle or driver to detect the pedestrian”.

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