Emails reveal Doug Ducey and Uber kept self-driving program secret
A cozy relationship with governor Doug Ducey enabled an autonomous program with limited expert oversight – one that ultimately led to a fatal crash
A shocking report from the Guardian has revealed that Governor Doug Ducey purposefully and deliberately mislead the public on Uber’s self-driving program–a program that had almost no regulation and led to the death of an Arizona woman.
Josselyn Berry, Co-Director of ProgressNow Arizona released the following statement:
“This disturbing report shows how Governor Doug Ducey continues to put corporations before the very lives of the people he is supposed to protect. Governor Doug Ducey put the lives of all Arizonans at risk with this reckless and under-regulated program and there should be a deeper investigation on how and why this was allowed to happen.”
Arizona’s Republican governor repeatedly encouraged Uber’s controversial experiment with autonomous cars in the state, enabling a secret testing program for self-driving vehicles with limited oversight from experts, according to hundreds of emails obtained by the Guardian.
The previously unseen emails between Uber and the office of governor Doug Ducey reveal how Uber began quietly testing self-driving cars in Phoenix in August 2016 without informing the public.
On Monday, 10 days after one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles killed a pedestrian in a Phoenix suburb, Ducey suspended the company’s right to operate autonomous cars on public roads in Arizona. It was a major about-face for the governor, who has spent years embracing the Silicon Valley startup.
They reveal how Uber offered workspace for Ducey’s staff in San Francisco, praised the governor lavishly, and promised to bring money and jobs to his state. Ducey, meanwhile, helped Uber deal with other officials in Arizona, issued decrees that were friendly to the company, tweeted out an advert at the company’s request, and even seems to have been open to wearing an Uber T-shirt at an official event.