Uber’s self-driving car crashes and flips in Arizona

0

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

  • Technology takes time to perfect, but in an age where sci-fi keeps becoming sci-fact it’s easy to forget it has flaws


 

A self-driving car operated by Uber was involved in a crash earlier this morning in Tempe, Arizona, in what is just one of a series of dramatic setbacks for the king of start ups.

 

RELATED
World first as Waymo's self-driving taxi service opens to the public

 

In a photo posted on Twitter, one of Uber’s Volvo self-driving SUVs is pictured on its side next to another car with dents and smashed windows, and an Uber spokeswoman has since confirmed the incident – and the validity of the photo.

 

 

However, the spokeswoman couldn’t immediately confirm if there were any injuries, or whether the car was carrying passengers. Uber’s self-driving cars began picking up customers in Arizona last month after the ride sharing company fled San Francisco when the Californian DMV revoked their licenses.

Uber, and CEO Travis Kalanick, are under scrutiny because of a series of scandals. The ride hailing company has been accused of operating a sexist workplace. This month, the New York Times reported that Uber used a tool called Greyball to help drivers evade government regulators and enforcement officials. And Kalanick said he needed “leadership help” after Bloomberg published a video showing him arguing with an Uber driver.

 

RELATED
Uber's fatal self-driving car crash reportedly mischaracterised pedestrian as a bag

 

Uber’s self-driving car program has also been mired in controversy, and this incident is by no means the first with others reported in San Francisco last year where Uber’s self-driving cars ran red lights – something which, in the end, was attributed to the technology rather than the drivers, as Uber had originally claimed.

Meanwhile Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s autonomous driving business, sued an Uber unit called Otto earlier this year for allegedly stealing designs for an important component of driverless cars known as lidar. Uber called the suit “baseless.”

The photo, showing the Uber SUV on its side, suggests a relatively high-impact crash. That would be a contrast to the incidents involving self-driving cars tested by Waymo. In more than two million miles of testing on public roads, Waymo’s vehicles were mostly minor incidents, often when other cars drove into the back of their vehicles in busy areas.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, CNBC, Discovery, RT, and Viacom, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *