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Autonomous Uber Involved in Multi-Car Accident in Arizona

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【Summary】One of Uber’s self-driving vehicles was involved in an accident involving two other cars last week, but the autonomous car was found to be not at fault.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 15, 2017 2:40 PM PT
Autonomous Uber Involved in Multi-Car Accident in Arizona

Driverless vehicles are expected to be much safer than ones that are human-operated and there's one simple part of the equation that self-driving cars take out – the human. Human drivers, especially in more recent times, are attempting to multitask behind the wheel.

But while autonomous cars are taking the weak point out of the equation, they still have to share the road with human drivers, which puts the machines at risk of getting into an accident. There have been incidents where driverless cars have gotten into an accident with non-autonomous vehicles before. More recently, a self-driving Uber was involved in an accident in Arizona, as the driverless Volvo was hit crossing an intersection

Other incidents involving a Tesla Model S and the electric automaker's Autopilot system reveal that owners don't know how to use the system properly, causing the EV to careen into a guardrail and another incident where a Model S bumped into a tourist bus in Northern Germany. All of these incidents, after being investigated, have cleared the vehicles' autonomous systems from any fault. And while that's a comforting aspect of the incidents, it still shows that driverless vehicles can get into accidents, even if it's at no fault of the vehicle's. 

Autonomous Uber Gets Rear Ended In Tempe

As AZ Central reports, another one of Uber's self-driving cars has been involved in a multi-car accident in Tempe, Ariz. According to the report, local police have already come out and said that the autonomous vehicle was not at fault. Citing images that the outlet found on Facebook, AZ Central claims that the driverless car was rear-ended at approximately 1:00 P.M. near the Arizona State University campus. 

Tempe police spokesman Rock Elcock stated that no one was injured in the accident, but that one individual was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. "It is believed that the Uber was in self-driving mode at the time," said Elcock. He also added that the passengers in the driver's seat and the other passenger in the back were not injured. 

AZ Central reports that another driver at the scene was believed to be impaired and was arrested after fleeing the scene and getting into a second accident down the road, claims Elcock. 

Testing In Arizona Has Been Tough For Uber

After falling out with officials in San Francisco, Uber moved its driverless operation to Arizona last December. The vehicle of choice for its testing are Volvo XC90 SUVs that are fitted with various pieces of driverless technology. As AZ Central claims, the Volvos mainly operate around ASU. 

After one of its self-driving Volvos was involved in a large accident in Arizona, Uber suspended its driverless program in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Tempe. Once the company looked into the accident to ensure that the autonomous vehicle was not at fault, Uber restarted its program swiftly. 

With all of the incidents involving autonomous vehicles, it's clear to see that autonomous cars aren't safe on the road, because of human-operated vehicles. 

via: AZ Central

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