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Uber driver, self-driving software not at fault in Pittsburgh crash, company determines

Aaron Aupperlee
| Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 5:12 p.m.
Uber idled its Pittsburgh fleet of self-driving cars for about three hours Monday after one collided with another car on the South Side.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Uber idled its Pittsburgh fleet of self-driving cars for about three hours Monday after one collided with another car on the South Side.

An internal investigation by Uber determined that neither its driver nor the self-driving SUV's software were at fault in a recent crash in Pittsburgh, the company's head of safety for its autonomous fleet said Wednesday.

Noah Zych, head of system safety, told reporters at the Pittsburgh headquarters of Uber's Advanced Technology Group, that the company reviews data from any autonomous car involved in a crash as part of its internal investigation.

“We look to make sure, one, that our operators did the right thing in that circumstance, and two, that our software didn't contribute in any way to the crash,” Zych said. “And in all the incidents that we've looked at so far, that has been the case.”

RELATED: Uber unveils second generation self-driving car in Pittsburgh

Uber idled its Pittsburgh fleet of self-driving cars for about three hours Monday after one collided with another car on the South Side. No one was injured, and witnesses said the crash looked like a fender bender.

Police have not released who was at fault in the crash. Sonya Toler, a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh police department, said the crash report is not a public record.

Zych said following any crash involving a self-driving Uber, the company cooperates with police both at the scene and afterward. Uber will provide its assessment what happened to police, he said. The company also cooperates with any federal authorities interested in the incident.

Zych would not go into specific details about Monday's crash, saying it's the company's policy to defer to local police to release information.

Toler, on Monday, said the driver of Uber's Volvo XC90 was in full control of the SUV at the time of the crash.

A black Nissan Sentra was driving west on Sidney Street when it collided with Uber's SUV, which had been traveling south on Hot Metal Street.

The crash happened about 8 a.m. Uber's fleet was idled until 11 a.m.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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