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Ride-hailing behemoth Uber plans to restart its autonomous vehicle (AV) testing on public roads after a nine-month hiatus, according to The Drive. The company had suspended all of its AV tests after a fatal crash of one of its cars in Arizona back in March.
Uber will relaunch its autonomous test cars in a narrow one-mile radius between two of its offices in Pittsburgh. The vehicles won't operate at night, in inclement weather, or exceed 25 miles per hour. That's a far cry from Uber's AV testing footprint before the crash, when the company was running tests in California, Arizona, outside of Pittsburgh, and Ontario at all hours of the day and in a variety of weather conditions.
Stumbles - Gap - Uber - Launch - AVs
Combined with some recent technological stumbles, the nine-month testing gap will likely delay Uber's eventual commercial launch of AVs. Not testing its AVs for nine months has prevented Uber from collecting valuable real-world data on its self-driving cars, which it could have used to improve its AV technologies. Worse yet, recent reports indicate that Uber's autonomous technology isn't anywhere close to commercially ready.
In the last few weeks, as the company prepared to resume its AV tests, the vehicles hit substantial technological stumbling blocks. Specifically, the cars' self-driving systems reacted slower than a human operator to obstacles on a track and didn't pass internal tests needed for tests to resume, according to The New York Times.
CEO - Dara - Khosrowshahi - March - Crash
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, before the March crash, had targeted 2019 for the launch of self-driving cars within the firm's ride-hailing network, which would make it one of the first few firms to deploy an AV in the US. But Uber's testing sabbatical and the revelation that its AV tech has a long...
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