The Uber vehicle was in the self-driving mode at the time of the crash.
No serious injuries had been reported in the Tempe, Arizona accident on Friday night. But images of Uber's Volvo SUV rolled onto its side reverberated heavily on social media.
Uber's autonomous vehicles in Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, remained grounded but were expected to be operating again soon, according to a spokeswoman for the company, who refused to be identified.
Uber says it is investigating the incident and that there were no passengers in the back seat of the self-driving vehicle. So it's now full-speed ahead for Uber's robot auto testing, which resumes on San Francisco streets today.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey seized the opportunity and used lax regulations to entice Uber, which made a decision to ship more than a dozen SUVs to metro Phoenix. The focus on self-driving cars was meant to demonstrate Uber's progress with the nascent technology, and it began picking up customers in Tempe last month after Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a proponent of self-driving cars, took the inaugural ride.
This crash happened after police said a private auto, being driven by a human, failed to give way at an intersection and the two vehicles hit each other. Some pick up passengers.
Indications are Uber is far behind rival Waymo in developing driverless cars. Arizona does not require any special permits for self-driving cars.
Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said in a March 3 interview that the cars are safe and there is sufficient oversight under existing automobile rules.
Automobile and technology companies alike are dumping billions of dollars into the technology with the idea that one day our cars will no longer need human drivers.
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Even as it acknowledges past mistakes, Uber says the fallout hasn't damaged its business yet. Company representatives said Kalanick couldn't attend because he was busy interviewing the candidates vying to become the company's chief operating officer, a helping hand that Kalanick has said he needs to "grow up" at the age of 40. "There are no rules in Arizona".
It's not as if there will be a huge fleet of Uber robot cars taking over San Francisco's streets.
Having worked tirelessly on its autonomous auto technology for years, Uber began trialling its fleet of self-driving Volvos on the road last year.
Arizona is one of a growing number of states that allow self-driving vehicles to be tested on public roads. Uber's Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle was hit when the driver of another auto failed to yield, she said. Police said another auto - driven by a flawed human (for we all have flaws, every one of us) - was responsible for the accident. "It is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision".
So far, most of the known accidents involving self-driving cars in the US have been relatively minor. Google's self-driving vehicle project, now rebranded as Waymo, could fail and its parent company would still have a massively profitable search engine to fall back on.
Uber's temporary grounding of its autonomous fleet was applauded by Audrey Russo of the Pittsburgh Technology Council.
Police in suburban Chandler said the Google cars have been in at least four wrecks over the past three years.
Uber is now involved in a lawsuit regarding the self-driving technology.
In recent weeks, a handful of Uber executives, including President Jeff Jones, have left the company. A third auto was also struck during the incident.