While the Uber accident may be used to advance arguments of those fearful of driverless cars, it does not change the fact that "transformative technology is coming whether we like it or not", according to Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington. They show that Ducey's staff worked closely with the company as it began experimenting with autonomous vehicles that the company began testing on public roads in August 2016 without informing the public.
Even though Uber had voluntarily halted self-driving auto tests nationwide, Arizona's Ducey on Monday ordered the company to stop tests in his state indefinitely. The National Transportation Safety Board says its investigation into the incident will take 12 to 14 months.
Ashwini Chhabra is shown in emails to have worked with Governor Ducey's office and Phoenix PD to keep Uber's self-driving vehicle tests off the public's radar. Uber's accident, he said, "is an unquestionable failure to comply with this expectation". Toyota Motor Corp. likewise temporarily halted public-road testing of its "Chauffeur" hands-free driving system, citing concerns that Uber's crash "may have an emotional effect" on the automaking giant's test drivers.
Uber Reportedly Scaled Back Number Of Sensors In Self-Driving Cars
"California may not want you, but Arizona does", Ducey said when he took the first ride as a passenger in Uber's self-driving cars in April 2017.
Update 3/28, 3:26 PM: Updated with comment from the Arizona governor's office. "The Governor's Executive Order allowing for the operation and testing of driverless cars was signed a year prior to this email being sent". Experts told The Associated Press that the technology on Uber's vehicle should have spotted (name her) the pedestrian and the failure revealed a serious flaw.
The Guardian was able to obtain a series of emails between the governor's office and Uber representatives that outline not only a close working relationship, but an overly permissive attitude toward business development without adequate regard to public safety and without alerting the public of the potential dangers of autonomous vehicle testing.
One of the founders of Otto, a self-driving truck company founded by former Google employees and acquired by Uber, has left the ride-hailing service.