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Uber to resume self-driving car operations after an accident in Arizona

The wreckage of the collision in Tempe, Arizona on March 24th

Lift-sharing company Uber has now partially resumed its self-driving car program, after a crash involving one of its autonomous vehicles took place last Friday evening. As a result of the incident, the firm had halted self-driving operations in the area.

The accident, which took place in the city of Tempe in Arizona, occurred when the driver of another vehicle "failed to yield" to Uber's autonomous vehicle when making a turn, according to the spokeswoman for the local police department, Josie Montenegro. Montenegro further stated that the vehicles collided in a crash which resulted in Uber's vehicle being rolled onto its side. Two safety drivers were in the vehicle at the time, but neither of them were seriously injured. The autonomous vehicle was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash.

A spokeswoman for Uber earlier stated that the company would be halting its driverless car programs in Arizona, Pittsburgh and San Francisco pending the results of an investigation, as the ride sharing company continued to "look into" the incident. According to reports by Engadget, development operations in San Francisco were resumed this morning, with the programs in Arizona and Pittsburgh expected to be back up and running soon.

Uber's autonomous programs have had a contentious history, dating back to late last year, when a dispute between the company and local authorities in San Francisco led to the cancelation of an autonomous pilot program there. The program then migrated to Arizona earlier this year.

These events occur at a tumultuous time for the company, which has recently faced a flurry of controversy including legal action, revelations about how it evaded authorities using a secret tool, an argument between the CEO and a driver, and the sudden resignation of the company's President.

Sources: Reuters, Engadget | Image: FRESCO News via Reuters

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