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Arizona suspends Uber from autonomous vehicle testing

“The incident that took place...is an unquestionable failure”

A self-driving Uber car pulling out of the garage. Photo by Dllu/Wikicommons

Following a fatal crash that killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, Arizona has suspended Uber from testing autonomous vehicles in the state. The San Francisco-based company had been testing their new technology since 2016 in cities like Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto. Uber has temporarily stopped testing in all cities, but Arizona is the first area to negate the billion-dollar company’s will.

Citing “the best interests of the people” of Arizona and Uber’s “unquestionable failure,” Gov. Doug Ducey made the ban official on Monday.

“The move by the Republican governor marks a major step back from his embrace of self-driving vehicles,” reports Associated Press. “He previously welcomed Uber and other autonomous vehicle companies to use Arizona as a place for testing under few, if any, regulations.”

The crash is currently being investigated by Tempe police, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Uber isn’t the only company focused on self-driving cars. Five major companies also started testing in Arizona—Uber, Waymo, Ford, General Motors, and Intel—all of which are testing in other cities as well.

In related news, an Uber driver careened down a busy staircase in San Francisco’s Castro District Monday afternoon. The driver alleged that Uber’s mapping technology directed him down the concrete stairs. No one was injured.