Following the fatal crash during an Uber self-driving car test last week, autonomous vehicle hardware and software supplier has announced it’s suspending its own self-driving vehicle tests.
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The chipmaker currently partners with Uber, Tesla, Volvo, and hundreds of other car makers, sensor companies, and self-driving vehicle companies to provide much of the foundational technology used to control autonomous vehicles.
“We are temporarily suspending the testing of our self-driving cars on public roads to learn from the Uber incident. Our global fleet of manually driven data collection vehicles continue to operate,” the company said in a statement.
An Nvidia spokesperson told Mashable only the company’s own program will pause testing. Partner programs will continue with self-driving efforts unless they’ve announced otherwise.
In January Uber announced that Nvidia would become the main supplier for the chips and AI technology used in Uber’s self-driving car fleet.
But last week, Uber paused its self-driving programs when 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed while walking her bicycle across a Tempe, Arizona, street. On Monday, Arizona officials pulled the self-driving program from operating in the state indefinitely.
A graphic video released of the incident seems to have spurred the decision. In a letter to Uber’s CEO, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey wrote, “I found the video to be disturbing and alarming, and it raises many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona.”
Uber, who had no comment on the Nvidia announcement, has also been unable to comment on specifics of what happened as a federal investigation into the crash continues.
Nvidia also explained why the accident led the company to suspend its testing.”It’s a reminder of “how difficult [self-driving car] technology is.” The statement continues, “It needs to be approached with extreme caution and the best safety technologies. This tragedy is exactly why we’ve committed ourselves to perfecting this life-saving technology.”
Meanwhile Waymo announced it was moving ahead with a launch of a self-driving car service in the Phoenix area — which includes the area where Uber’s fatal crash occurred.