Uber suspends self-driving cars after Arizona accident

The company has removed all self-driving cars from the road in three US states

Uber suspends self-driving cars after Arizona accident

A self-driven Volvo SUV, owned and operated by Uber, lays on its side after a collision in Tempe, Arizona. Image: Reuters

Uber has grounded its fleet of self-driving cars after the crash of an Uber autonomous vehicle in Arizona, according to a spokesperson for the car-hailing service.

The accident occurred Friday in Tempe while the Volvo SUV was carrying two engineers in the front and no backseat passengers, although no-one was seriously injured in the crash.

"We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no backseat passengers in the vehicle," the Uber spokesperson said.

Initial police reports suggest the collision when the other vehicle "failed to yield" while making a left turn.

Tempe police spokeswoman Josie Montenegros said that "the vehicles collided causing the autonomous vehicle to roll onto it's side. There were no serious injuries."

Self-driving Uber cars always have a driver who can take control of the car at any time if needed, but Florida police say they are unsure if a driver was controlling the car at the time of the accident.

The accidents comes at the latest in a series of bad news for the company, following reports of sexism, law-enforcement evading software and the departure of the company's president, Jeff Jones.

Those in favour of self-driving vehicles say they cut down on human error and can eliminate road traffic incidents, however there have been several accidents, including a fatality in Florida last May when a truck hit a speeding Tesla that was on autopilot.

An investigation into the accident found no safety-related defects with the autopilot system, but did come to the conclusion that the driver may have had time to avert the crash if he had been paying closer attention.