Arizona banned to Uber to make ride autonomous cars

News 27 March, 2018
  • AFP


    Tuesday, march 27, 2018 07:21

    Tuesday, march 27, 2018 07:25

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    SAN FRANCISCO | The Arizona authorities banned on Monday at Uber driving of autonomous cars on the roads of this State of the south-west of the United States because of the accident that claimed the life of a pedestrian in mid-march.

    Uber, which bet big on this technology, had announced itself the day after the tragedy – which occurred late on march 18 in Tempe, az – that it was suspending all testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

    A video of the accident had been made public a few days by the police.

    “I found this video shocking and disturbing, and it raises many questions as to the ability of Uber to continue the tests” in this State, has written to the governor of Arizona, one of the States in the legislation more flexible in terms of autonomous control.

    Douglas Ducey adds that it “shall suspend the authorization of Uber to test and operate autonomous vehicles on the roads of Arizona” in this letter, sent Monday to the boss of the group, Dara Khosrowshahi, and published on the internet by the local press.

    “We continue to assist investigators of our best and expect to continue to engage with the services of the governor”, indicated to the AFP a spokesman for Uber.

    An investigation has been opened by the police and by the regulator of transport on the accident, which has revived the fears surrounding the technology stand-alone supposed to, according to its supporters, is to reduce the number of road accidents.

    In the video of the drama, we see in particular “the operator” (the person sitting on the driver’s seat to oversee operations when the car is in stand-alone mode) watching for a few seconds towards the bottom, then straighten the head for a moment before the car hits a woman crossing on foot with a bike outside of the crosswalk.

    According to early statements from the police, “it appears that the vehicle (Uber) would not be at fault”.

    Uber is part of the many companies (technology groups, manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers (oems) who are working on the autonomous control is seen as the future of transportation. They engage in a fierce battle, with billions of dollars, in the race for who will be the first car to really stand alone on the roads, which is promised for 2019 or 2020.

    Immediately after the accident, Uber was itself suspended its trials, which were conducted at Tempe (Arizona), San Francisco (California) and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) in the United States as well as in Toronto, Canada.

    Other companies testing autonomous cars in Arizona, including Waymo, the subsidiary dedicated to the Alphabet/Google.

    Sunday, the boss of Waymo, John Krafcik, had assured him that his technology could have prevented the accident, pointing out that its autonomous vehicles had traveled since 2009, more than 8 million kilometres on roads frequented by pedestrians, without being involved in a fatal accident.

    The end of the tests grandeur nature for Uber could curb significantly its program of autonomous control, as these tests on the public highway are considered necessary to develop the technology.

    Proof of issue of enormous economic of the autonomous car, a trial for theft of technologies between Uber and Waymo resulted in early February by a private agreement at nearly $ 250 million.

    The subsidiary of Google called for up to two billion dollars to Uber, accusing him of stealing patents on this technology.

    Three days after the accident of march 18, the giant japanese car Toyota has decided to suspend its testing of autonomous control, but the German manufacturer BMW has announced to maintain its projects.