Uber Technologies Inc on January 23 reportedly said that the company will put self-driving cars in Washington, DC roads with human drivers in control from Friday. According to international media reports, Uber is also seeking to collect data for future deployment of fully self-driving vehicles and is further collecting similar road data to support the development of self-driving in Dallas, San Francisco and Toronto with human drivers in control. The rideshare company reportedly said that the first round of manually driven data collection will be laying the foundation for testing the vehicles in self-driving in Washington.
While speaking to an international media outlet, a spokesperson from Uber said that at first during the manual driving in Washington, they will be using a fleet of three vehicles to collect sensor data using a top-mounted sensor wing with cameras and LiDAR, which is a detection technology that uses pulsed laser light instead of the radio waves used by radar. The spokesperson further added that in DC and other cities with self-driving Uber cars, a second employee will also be in the passenger seat.
User is more cautious this time as one of its self-driving vehicles back in March 2018 killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. The accident further led to important safety concerns about the self-driving car industry which is working towards getting the self-driving vehicle into commercial use. An Uber spokeswoman, Sarah Abboud told an international media outlet the company regretted the crash that killed Herzberg. She further said that the company has adopted critical program improvements to further prioritize safety.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on November 05, also stated that an Uber self-driving test vehicle that killed an Arizona woman back in 2018 had software issues. The safety board further revealed that the company's autonomous test vehicles in the past 18-months were involved in approximately 37 crashes. After the crash Uber had reportedly suspended all testing. In Pennsylvania, however, resumed testing again in December after a revised software and significant new restrictions and safeguards were put in place. The NTSB also criticised Uber's 'ineffective safety culture' at the time, when only one employee was in the front seat.