Self-Driving Technology Ruled Out as Cause of Pittsburgh Uber Crash

After grounding the fleet for several hours, an investigation revealed that a driver was in control of the self-driving SUV at the time of the incident.

by Aaron Aupperlee, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review / September 19, 2017

(TNS) -- Uber grounded its fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh for a few hours Monday morning as the company investigated a crash.

Few details regarding Uber's move to ground its fleet or the company's decision to put it back on the road are available.

An Uber spokesman told the Tribune-Review no serious injuries were reported and that only Uber employees were in the self-driving SUV at the time of the crash.

The crash happened about 8 a.m. near the intersection of Sidney and Hot Metal streets on the South Side.

The fleet returned to the streets at 11 a.m. Monday, the spokesperson said.

Sonya Toler, a spokeswoman for Pittsburgh police, confirmed no one was injured. Toler said the driver of the Uber XC90 was in full control of the SUV at the time of the crash.

Police responded to the crash at 8:14 a.m. near the intersection of Hot Metal and Sidney Streets, Toler said. A black Nissan Sentra was driving west on Sidney Street when it collided with Uber's Volvo SUV. The Volvo had been going South on Hot Metal Street.

Toler did not say if police had determined who was at fault in the crash. Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

Uber grounded its fleet nationwide for about 48 hours in March after a self-driving Uber was involved in crash in Tempe, Arizona. Police determined the Uber was not at fault in that crash.

Uber celebrated last week its one-year anniversary of its self-driving car pilot program in Pittsburgh. The company, whose Advanced Technology Group is based in Pittsburgh, reported that its more than 200 self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, Tempe and San Francisco have driven more than 1 million miles while giving more than 30,000 rides to customers.

©2017 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.