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Uber self-driving vehicle involved in Arizona crash

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 13:53

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A self-driving car operated by Uber Technologies Inc was involved in a crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest setback for a company reeling from multiple crises.

[SAN FRANCISCO] A self-driving car operated by Uber Technologies Inc was involved in a crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest setback for a company reeling from multiple crises.

In a photo posted on Twitter, one of Uber's Volvo self-driving SUVs is pictured on its side next to another car with dents and smashed windows. An Uber spokeswoman confirmed the incident, and the veracity of the photo, in an email to Bloomberg News.

The spokeswoman could not immediately confirm if there were any injuries, or whether the car was carrying passengers. Uber's self-driving cars began picking up customers in Arizona last month.

Uber, and chief executive officer Travis Kalanick, are under scrutiny because of a series of scandals. The ride-hailing company has been accused of operating a sexist workplace. 

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This month, The New York Times reported that Uber used a tool called Greyball to help drivers evade government regulators and enforcement officials. And Kalanick said he needed "leadership help" after Bloomberg published a video showing him arguing with an Uber driver.

Uber's self-driving car program has also been mired in controversy. Waymo, Alphabet Inc's autonomous driving business, sued an Uber unit called Otto earlier this year for allegedly stealing designs for an important component of driverless cars known as lidar.

Uber called the suit "baseless".

The photo, showing the Uber SUV on its side, suggests a relatively high-impact crash. That would be a contrast to the incidents involving self-driving cars tested by Waymo.

In more than two million miles of testing on public roads, Waymo's vehicles were mostly minor incidents, often when other cars drove into the back of their vehicles in busy areas. 

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