An accident involving the Uber Volvo XC90 test vehicle the, which happened last March, is slowly coming to an epilogue. Despite the fact that the investigation of the event is still in the run, Uber has announced that it is withdrawing from Arizona.
But withdrawal was not voluntary, but a consequence of the ban on further testing, which was introduced by the governor of Arizona Doug Ducey shortly after the accident. Let's refresh memory. An accident took place in Las Vegas during the night time, when Uber's test car ran over a pedestrian, which was crossing the road outside the marked pedestrian crossing. She later succumbed to injuries. Surveillance cameras showed that the vehicle was in the autonomous driving mode at the time of the accident, while Uber's technician only monitored the events on the road. Uber immediately responded to the event and announced that it will cooperate.
But it is becoming increasingly apparent that Uber is not really concerned for the safety of other road users. After a ban on tests in Arizona and withdrawal from California before that, where their test car collided with another vehicle, the company has already announced that they will strengthen tests in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and are planning to return to California.
The expected return to Pittsburgh alarmed mayor Bill Peduto, which before supported Uber and its testing of autonomous cars. Peduto, which was informed about Uber's intention through the media, demands for the investigation of the events in Arizona to be completed first and also believes that Uber shuld limit test speeds to 40 kph and introduce some other security measures.
A possible ban on testing in Pittsburgh due to ignorance and non-cooperation with the authorities would put Uber in a very difficult position. It would be forced to return to the laboratories and its own test facilities, which would seriously undermine its reputation and progress.