Uber’s self-driving cars may be returning to Pittsburgh’s public roads. The idea of self-automated vehicles may sound like something that belongs in the far-off future, but rideshare companies like Uber already have these kinds of vehicles and are testing them today. Many people may remember the accident in Arizona last March where a woman was hit by a self-driving vehicle. Uber is new safety protocols to make self-automated cars safer.
Uber applied to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to resume testing their self-driving cars. After the March crash, their tests were suspended. While Uber returned cars that are able to drive themselves in Pittsburgh last July, they kept them out of that mode and had human drivers in control.
PennDOT’s process is voluntary because there isn’t legislation in place and doesn’t have a date for the autonomous testing. However, Uber will cooperate with PennDOT and follow their guidance.
This guidance details a few specifics that Uber will follow through with. They will have to document the number of miles traveled by the self-driving cars, the public roads in counties they’ve tested on, and how many jobs were added because of the testing process.
Uber will make safety improvements to their vehicles and once they receive authorization from PennDOT to return to the road, they will put the self-driving cars back into regular rotation.
For now, the vehicles being tested will have two people in the vehicle as safety precautions. These people, referred to as “mission specialists,” is required by Uber to have special technical training. The car’s automatic braking system will also be activated to increase safety. Currently, Pittsburgh has fewer than 10 cars on the roads that could possibly drive themselves.
The city of Pittsburgh seems to be okay with Uber testing their autonomous vehicles on its roads. There hasn’t been significant backlash. It’s possibly because of the added safety precautions and rigorous testing these vehicles will undergo that’s making people feel safer. The city isn’t new to autonomous vehicles. Two other companies, Aurora and Argo AI, have tested autonomous vehicles there before.
The Rideshare Law Group is dedicated to helping those who have been wrongfully injured in accidents involving rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. If you’ve been in an accident, get in touch with us today for a free consultation.