An Uber self-driving vehicle was just recently involved in a collision in Tempe, Arizona. At the moment there are no reported injuries and Uber has not confirmed whether anyone was in the vehicle during the collision. An Uber spokesperson has confirmed the accident, but did not provide any additional information.
Fresco News user Mark Beach posted the photograph and video of the wrecked vehicle on Twitter just a few short hours ago. The Uber self-driving Volvo XC90 is pictured on its side while the other vehicles are upright with multiple dents. If the car was in self-driving mode, this would be the most serious accident to date involving such a vehicle. Waymo has only experienced a few fender benders that ended up being mostly the fault of the drivers in the other vehicles. A local news report suggests that another driver failed to yield for the XC90 and broadsided it .
Uber launched its self-driving vehicle program in Arizona in late December. The company had originally tried to test its vehicles in California, but was kicked out when it did not obtain autonomous vehicle licenses. The cars failed the Department of Motor Vehicle’s tests because they were had been caught running red lights and were also deemed a danger to bicyclists.
Uber consequently shipped its sixteen self-driving Volvo XC90s to Arizona on their autonomous Otto truck. Prior to this accident, there had already be complaints that the rider experience in Arizona was “not great”. In addition, the vehicles were only traveling an average of 0.67 miles before a person needed to interfere.
To make matters worse for Uber, controversial Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick is currently under scrutiny for a number of scandals. Uber is being sued by Google for allegedly stealing its Waymo self-driving car technology, the company has been accused of attempting to evade law enforcement, and there have been a number of complaints regarding sexual harassment. Kalanick will not be stepping down from his position, however, the company has vowed to fix its culture of “brilliant jerks”. This latest accident will certainly do nothing to help its tarnished reputation.