Uber is closing up its self-driving car program in Arizona. The ride-sharing technology company still plans to run autonomous testing in San Francisco and Pittsburgh, where the company has its headquarters, but the 300 people working in Arizona for Uber will be laid-off.
The decision follows the fatal accident of Elaine Herzberg, 49, who was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber in Tempe, Arizona on March 18th, as she pushed her bicycle across a dark road at 10 pm. Following the accident, Uber stopped all testing of its self-driving cars, and also allowed its permit to test these vehicles lapse in California. Arizona subsequently barred Uber from testing on its roads as well.
The accident has left its mark on the public, with 73 percent of Americans now scared to ride in an autonomous car, up from 63 percent in December 2017 prior to the accident, according to a new data from AAA.
The majority of people losing their positions in Arizona will include the safety drivers, those who sit behind the wheel of the autonomous Uber cars, and are meant to take control should something happen.
In a statement Uber said it remains "…committed to self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the near future."