Uber, which had already pulled its autonomous cars off the road following a fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona, is officially calling it quits in the state of Arizona, The Wall Street Journal first reported, citing an internal memo from Uber Advanced Technologies Group lead Eric Meyhofer.
As part of the wind-down, Uber has let go 300 of its test drivers. This comes after the state of Arizona in March officially barred Uber from testing its autonomous vehicles on public roads.
“We’re committed to self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the near future,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement. “In the meantime, we remain focused on our top-to-bottom safety review, having brought on former NTSB Chair Christopher Hart to advise us on our overall safety culture.”
Uber is hoping to have its self-driving cars performing tests on public roads again within the next few months, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said at an Uber conference earlier this month. Once the National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigation of the Tempe crash, Uber plans to continue testing in San Francisco, Toronto and Pittsburgh. But if Uber wants to continue its tests in California, it will need to apply for a new permit, as well as “address any follow-up analysis or investigations from the recent crash in Arizona,” DMV Deputy Director/Chief Counsel Brian Soublet wrote in a letter to Uber in March. Uber may also need to set up a meeting with the DMV.
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