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Uber self-driving car tests suspended in Arizona

IANS | San Francisco |

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has suspended ride-hailing giant Uber’s self-driving vehicle tests following a fatal accident at a suburb in state capital Phoenix.

“The move by Ducey is notable for the governor, who is an advocate for fewer regulations in a bid to attract companies and high-paying tech jobs to the state,” Fortune reported late Monday.

“As Governor, my top priority is public safety. Improving public safety has always been an emphasis of Arizona’s approach to autonomous vehicle testing and my expectation is that public safety is also the top priority for all who operate this technology in Arizona,” Ducey wrote in a letter to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Uber has already suspended its self-driving operations in cities including Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto following the fatal accident.

A self-driving Volvo SUV from Uber travelling at 64 km per hour killed a woman last week, triggering a heated debate on whether autonomous cars are safe enough and who is to blame for the death.

According to the police, the victim was walking outside of the crosswalk when she was hit by the car, which was in autonomous mode at that time although a vehicle operator was behind the wheel.