Uber Self-Driving Cars Back on the Road
USA- Mediapost.com writes that self-driving Uber cars are being road-tested again. The DMV in California has approved the company’s permit to re-test autonomous cars on the public roads.*
The cars are self-driving Volvo XC90s, which will have two safety drivers sitting in the front seat. The cars will be on the road in daytime hours and will not be transporting passengers. A spokesperson for the company stated that Uber is excited to be testing their vehicles again. The cars are also on the road in Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Dallas, but those cars have “mission specialists” operating the vehicles. The only locations that will be hosting the computer-driven cars are Pittsburgh and San Francisco. In Pittsburgh, there will up to twenty of the autonomous cars on the road at any given time, while only two will be operating daily in San Francisco.
Uber faced a setback in testing its automated cars when one of its vehicles was involved in a fatal crash in Arizona. The incident occurred on the road in Tempe when a 49-year-old woman was crossing the street. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) later determined that the vehicle’s system contained flaws. The incident led to questions regarding whether driverless vehicles are safe.
The investigation led to valuable information about what went wrong with the technology. The car reportedly failed to identify the victim on the dimly lit multiple lane roadway. The safety backup driver also was partially blamed. The dash-cam video from the car indicates that the woman serving as the safety driver was not looking at the road when the crash occurred.
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Sources:https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/348354/uber-resumes-self-driving-car-trials.html and https://www.bbc.com/news/business-50312340