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The Self-Driving Revolution Has Hit A MASSIVE Roadblock

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Uber suspended all of its self-driving car experiments in the U.S. over the weekend after an accident in Arizona caused one of its vehicles to flip.

The ride-sharing tech giant initially halted the testing in Arizona, but subsequently discontinued the remaining pilot studies of the autonomous cars in Pittsburgh and San Francisco due to precautionary concerns over the technology.

“We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no backseat passengers in the vehicle,” company officials said, according to ZDNet.

Uber usually employs a person to sit in the driver’s seat so they can take control of the car if necessary, along with another in the passenger seat to monitor and analyze the technology with a computer.

Tempe, Ariz. police said following investigations that Uber was not to blame for the collision since another car failed to yield.

Uber is not conducting any more tests until it can look into the situation further, despite the crash not being pinned on the company.

While the autonomous vehicle technology is likely to bring a number of tangible benefits once it completely comes to fruition, there are worries that the cars could also be dangerous, such as the prospect of them getting hacked. (RELATED: Uber, Anheuser-Busch Use Self-Driving Truck To Deliver 45,000 Cans Of ‘America’)

Uber was criticized in December after reports of self-driving vehicles dangerously cutting off cyclists. The company acknowledged there was a problem at the time, and stressed that it was working to address any potential issues. The cars were also accused of running red lights in San Francisco, even though the California Department of Motor Vehicles demanded that the tech company stop its self-driving operations in the city. 

The latest incident comes at a precarious time for Uber since it has been mired with a number of apparent missteps, scandals, and embarrassments in recent months.

From allegations of sexual harassment, systemic sexism, rampant lewd behavior, and cutthroat work culture, as well as a number of varying lawsuits, Uber seems to be under pressure from all sides.

In fact, one of the lawsuits deals with Uber’s self-driving car technology specifically as Google accuses the ride-sharing company of stealing data and using it to further its autonomous vehicle development.

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