Uber to restart testing its autonomous cars

Pennsylvania officials have given Uber permission to restart testing its self-driving cars after one of its vehicles hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona in March

20Dec

Pennsylvania officials have given Uber the go-ahead to restart testing its self-driving cars on public roads in the state.

The program was shut down in March this year after a self-driving Uber vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona in the first official death caused by an autonomous vehicle. The incident happened after the vehicle allegedly flagged the detection of her figure crossing the street as a "false positive".

Public outcry at the death led to concerns about the safety of autonomous cars, leading to further delays in the adoption and development of the technology after Uber halted its testing following the incident.


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While an Uber spokesperson confirmed that Pennsylvania Department of Transportation had granted the approval to resume testing, the spokesperson noted that the company has yet to get back to testing its vehicles.

"We received our letter of authorization, but we haven't put cars back on the road yet," the spokesperson confirmed.

A number of tech giants are competing to deliver the first safe, autonomous car, including Google and Apple. In August 2018, Uber extended its collaboration with Toyota to advance the development of driverless vehicles.

However, there have been a number of issues with the cars currently being tested. In September, Apple's self-driving car was involved in a minor crash when it was rear-ended by a human driver. Google's Waymo car has also experienced issues when interacting with human drivers or pedestrians. 

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