Watch CBS News

Uber Resumes Self-Driving Car Program Following Brief Suspension

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Uber says it is resuming its self-driving car program in Arizona and Pittsburgh after it was suspended following a crash over the weekend.

The company had also grounded self-driving cars in San Francisco over the weekend but they resumed operating earlier on Monday. The difference between the California program versus the ones in Arizona and Pennsylvania is that California does not allow passengers to ride in the vehicles.

The company said Monday that it paused the operations over the weekend to better understand what happened in Arizona, but feels confident in returning the cars to the road.

"So Uber, as a result of this accident, said they're pulling all of their self-driving vehicles off the road... despite the fact that authorities in Tempe say that it was the human driven vehicle's fault," Wall Street Journal Technology Reporter Greg Bensinger said.

There were no serious injuries reported in the incident in Tempe, Arizona on Friday night. Police said the self-driving Uber SUV was obeying the law while the human driver of the other car was cited for a moving violation.

Following the crash, Uber temporarily suspended the self-driving programs in California and Pennsylvania as well.

Just this month, Uber was reportedly given the green light to resume its California program after one of its self-driving cars was caught running a red light in December.

Uber says it is investigating the most recent incident and that there were no passengers in the back seat of the self-driving car.

The brief suspension is the latest corporate setback for Uber. CEO Travis Kalanick apologized after a rant to an Uber driver was caught on video. President Jeff Jones resigned a week ago, saying Uber's "approach to leadership" was "inconsistent" with his own, and now Kalanick's former girlfriend Gabi Holzwarth says she was recently pressured to lie about going to an escort bar in South Korea with five Uber executives in 2014.

Uber says the company is still waiting on the results of an internal investigation into whether one of its executives engaged in sexual harassment while others did nothing about it. That report is expected later this month.

Multiple automakers and technology companies are testing fleets of self-driving vehicles. In nearly all cases, the cars have backup drivers who can take the wheel in an emergency.

Testing hasn't been accident-free. Waymo -- a division of Google -- has been testing self-driving cars since 2009 and has driven them more than 2 million miles. Last year, Waymo reported 13 accidents involving its fleet in the state of California, which requires companies testing autonomous vehicles to report any accidents. Most of the accidents were minor and weren't caused by Waymo's vehicles. But in February 2016, a Waymo test car struck a public bus near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California. No one was injured.

Cruise Automation -- a self-driving startup owned by General Motors Co. -- and Nissan Motor Co. also reported fender benders involving self-driving cars in California within the last year.

Last year, a driver of a semi-autonomous Tesla -- which is different from a self-driving car -- was killed with the car's Autopilot system engaged.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.