Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in late 2016 welcomed Uber’s self-driving cars “with open arms and wide open roads” after California regulators barred the company from operating on its roadways for not obtaining the correct permits.
This week, he assumed a much different stance.
In a letter sent to Uber on Monday referencing the recent fatal pedestrian accident, Ducey said he found the video of the incident to be “disturbing and alarming,” adding that it raises many questions regarding Uber’s ability to continue testing in Arizona.
NEW: In light of the fatal Uber crash in Tempe, Governor Ducey sends this letter to Uber ordering the company to suspend its testing of autonomous vehicles in Arizona indefinitely #12News pic.twitter.com/gO5BZB9P2e— Bianca Buono (@BiancaBuono) March 27, 2018
Although the incident is currently under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, Ducey said “Arizona must take action now.” As such, he has directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to suspend Uber’s ability to test and operate self-driving vehicles on the state’s public roadways.
Ducey said Arizona will “not tolerate any less than an unequivocal commitment to public safety.”
49-year-old Elaine Herzberg died of her injuries after being struck by an autonomous Uber vehicle on March 18 around 10 p.m. Video of the collision revealed the vehicle’s autonomous technology seemingly never detected Herzberg or attempted to brake. The Uber safety drive behind the wheel, identified as Rafaela Vasquez, was clearly distracted in the moments leading up to the accident and only noticed Herzberg at the very last second.