A second-generation Volvo XC90 used by Uber to test autonomous driving technologies was recently involved in a three-car accident in Tempe, Arizona, causing the SUV to land on its side following an impact with another vehicle. Tempe police information officer Josie Montenegro has told Bloomberg there was someone behind the wheel of the Volvo, while an Uber spokeswoman revealed the vehicle was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash. Another person was sitting in the front passenger’s seat.
What matters the most is that nobody was injured in the crash, which according to a preliminary investigation was caused by another car that failed to give way for the Volvo. The Uber spokesperson said in an e-mail they’re looking into the incident and that no one was sitting in the back of the car at the time of the accident.
As recently reported, an Uber autonomous car can’t actually drive itself for more than a mile. As a matter of fact, Recode.net says the week ending on March 8th saw humans taking control of the test vehicle once every 0.8 miles, down by 0.1 miles compared to January. The company’s fleet of autonomous vehicles was racking up more than 20,000 autonomous miles each week in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and California, but now testing has been halted in the aftermath of the crash.
It’s the latest incident in a series of misfortunes for the ride hailing giant, which is facing numerous lawsuits and fines along with a very bad 2016 financial year with a total loss expected to exceed a whopping $3 billion (£2.39bn).
With the investigation in full swing, Uber is not providing for the moment a time frame regarding when it plans to put its autonomous cars out on the streets again for additional testing to perfect the technology.