Uber puts the brakes on its self-driving fleet after Arizona car crash

Uber crash
Mark Beach
Uber has taken its self-driving cars off the streets following a crash involving one of the vehicles on Saturday.

Photos of the accident scene in Tempe, Arizona, showed one of Uber’s Volvo SUVs on its side, while another car nearby appeared pretty beat up. There were no reports of serious injuries.

Uber’s car, which had engineers in the front two seats and no one in the back, was in self-driving mode at the time of the collision, local cop Josie Montenegro told reporters. She added that the accident occurred when the other car  apparently failed to yield to Uber’s vehicle at a left turn.

The company’s fleet of 16 self-driving cars had been on the streets of Tempe for just over a month as part of a pilot program. It confirmed over the weekend that it’s also suspended testing at its two other sites in San Francisco and Pittsburgh while it continues with investigations into what caused the smash-up.

Uber customers had been able to take rides in the self-driving cars, but anyone nervous about doing so could use the app to opt out of the opportunity. While Uber’s technology doesn’t appear to have been at fault in Saturday’s accident, it’s possible the publicity surrounding the incident will prompt some riders to think twice about hopping into one of Uber’s driverless cars when they return to the streets.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant started testing its driverless car technology in Pittsburgh last year before expanding the pilot program to its home city. However, a run-in with regulators at the end of 2016 prompted the company to shift testing from San Francisco to Tempe, Arizona. Uber recently received permission to relaunch testing in the California city.

The Tempe crash certainly isn’t a first for a self-driving car companies, with, for example, Google’s own project — now operated by Waymo — having experienced a few incidents up to now.

Product Review

Volvo’s redesigned 2019 S60 sedan is the best kind of remix

The 2019 Volvo S60 borrows almost everything from other recent Volvo models, but that’s not a problem. From its infotainment system to an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, the S60 takes the best bits from a lineup of great cars.
Cars

Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs

Ford is using vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) tech to allow cars to pass through intersections without stopping. The experimental "Intersection Priority Management" system basically acts as air traffic control for cars.
Cars

Waymo sees improvements ahead as its self-driving fleet logs 10 million miles

Waymo's fleet of self-driving cars has crossed the 10 million-mile mark. The company isn't resting on its laurels; it has outlined the improvements it wants to make over the next 10 million miles.
Cars

After Tesla’s ‘best car’ boasts, the NHTSA stresses its scale only goes to five

Tesla published a long blog post to announce the Tesla Model 3 is the best car the NHTSA has ever tested. The agency clarified that, while the Model 3 aced its crash test, its rating system doesn't go above five stars.
Product Review

The 2019 Volvo V60 proves it's still cool to drive a station wagon

With the 2019 V60, Volvo argues the station wagon segment isn't as moribund as most other automakers say it is. The company goes as far as arguing we're on the cusp of a wagon revival, and the V60 is poised to lead the charge.
Cars

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Are European-style self-dimming and glare-free headlights coming to the U.S.?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to allow adaptive LED headlights on vehicles sold in the U.S. Adaptive LEDs automatically lower headlight intensity when they detect pedestrians or oncoming vehicles.
Cars

Porsche upgrades German factory to build Taycan electric cars

A Porsche factory that currently builds the automaker's popular sports cars will soon begin churning out Taycan electric cars. In preparation, Porsche is upgrading the factory to be high tech and low emissions.
Cars

Vanderhall Carmel adds creature comforts to the basic three-wheeler formula

The Vanderhall Carmel is the fifth three-wheeler from Utah-based Vanderhall Motor Works. It takes the basic design of the Vanderhall Venice and adds a handful of creature comforts, as well as a more powerful engine.
Cars

Race car or daily driver? Choose either with the 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche has expanded the Panamera lineup with a midrange, GTS-badged model. Part race car and part daily driver, it's the variant we've been waiting for since the current-generation Panamera arrived in 2017.
Emerging Tech

Shrimp eyes inspire new camera focused on helping self-driving cars see better

By mimicking the vision of mantis shrimp, researchers were able to make significant improvements on today’s commercial cameras. They hope their technology can help mitigate accidents by letting self-driving vehicles see more clearly.
Cars

‘Bloodhound’ rocket car needs a speedy cash injection to survive

The rocket-powered Bloodhound car has driven into difficulties, with the company behind the project needing a multi-million-dollar cash injection to save its dream of attempting a 1,000 mph land speed record.
Cars

Double your charging speed with Nomad’s Tesla Model 3 wireless charger

Nomad's wireless charger for the Tesla Model 3 fits the EV's charging dock exactly. If you plug both of the Nomad's into the Model 3's two front USB ports you can charge two smartphones quickly or one phone twice as fast.