Editors' pick: Originally published March 28.
Troubled ride-sharing service Uber announced that it has resumed its self driving car tests in San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Tempe, Arizona after suspending the program over the weekend after one of its autonomous cars was involved in a high-speed crash in Tempe late on Friday.
According to police, the incident did not result in any serious injuries and Uber's self-driving Volvo XC90 SUV had the right of way at the time of the crash. The Volvo was driving down a road when another human-driven vehicle failed to yield to it while turning left, resulting in a collision that left the Volvo on its side according to pictures posted on Twitter(TWTR) - Get Report . The Volvo had a driver but no passengers in it.
While the self-driving Uber car wasn't at fault, the company wanted to ensure that the autonomous vehicle couldn't have done more to avoid the collision so it halted the self driving testing until the investigation was completed. The service was first tested in Pittsburgh in 2016 before expanding to Arizona in February 2017. Currently, Uber's self-driving test cars all have a person sitting in the driver's seat in case they need to take control of the vehicle.
Earlier this year, Alphabet's(GOOGL) - Get Report self-driving car program Waymo accused San Francisco-based Uber of stealing its designs for a laser-scanning technology that helps guide autonomous vehicles. The complaint claimed that former Waymo manager Anthony Levandowski downloaded over 14,000 files in December 2015 before leaving in January 2016 to start Otto, a self driving startup acquired by Uber in August for $680 million.
While it took Waymo seven years to develop its laser technology, Uber did it in just nine months. "Misappropriating this technology is akin to stealing a secret recipe from a beverage company," Waymo's spokespeople wrote in a blog post, noting the thousands of hours Waymo engineers spent designing the technology.
The self-driving car crash and related legal troubles seem symbolic of the company's reputation in recent months, as the privately held company has dealt with a boycott related to CEO Travis Kalanick's previous spot on President Donald Trump's business advisory board, as well as fleeing executives and accusations of sexism and sexual harassment at the company. Uber was recently valued at $69 billion.
Former Uber president Jeff Jones was the latest to leave the company, announcing his resignation last Sunday after less than a year there because of differences over leadership, according to Recode. Other notable employees that have left the company recently include vice president of engineering Amit Singhal, vice president of product and growth Ed Baker and engineer Brian McClendon.
Singhal was forced to resign after Recode revealed that the former vice president of engineering didn't disclose that he left Google, his former employer, amidst a sexual harassment investigation. This didn't help Uber in its case to defend itself against claims by former Uber engineer Susan J. Fowler, who wrote in a blog post about the sexist and inappropriate treatment she endured at the company, as well as Uber's lack of response to her complaints.
Fowler's accusations came before the dust had settled on the controversy surrounding the #deleteuber campaign after the company continued to serve customers coming to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport despite taxi drivers asking that drivers not interfere with the strike going on at JFK to protest Trump's travel ban. This incident is what made Kalanick pull out of Trump's business advisory team, but not before competitor Lyft saw a boost in users, growing 3% in 2017, partly because people were abandoning Uber.
"Earlier today I spoke briefly with the President about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community," Kalanick wrote in a memo to employees last month. "I also let him know that I would not be able to participate on his economic council. Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the President or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that."
Earlier this month, Kalanick, 40, admitted that he needed leadership help and was thus looking for a chief operating officer after a leaked video showed Kalanick lashing out at Uber Black driver Fawzi Kamel after he asked the CEO about the company's decision to cut back on luxury fares.
"It's clear this video is a reflection of me -- and the criticism we've received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up," Kalanick wrote in a blog post last month. "This is the first time I've been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it."
In addition, Uber announced on Tuesday that it was pulling its service from Denmark on April 18 after three years because of new requirements for the drivers, such as required fare meters. The company said it has about 2,000 Danish drivers and 300,000 riders on the app in Denmark.