Uber, one of the greatest technology firms of our time, has this week announced details of their latest project; one that will revisit the subject of self-driving vehicle testing. Approval has been given to the firm by Pennsylvania officials, putting Uber back in the race to defeat Google, Lexus and the likes to release a fully automated, driverless vehicle.
While given the green flag by PennDOT, the firm are yet to put cars on the roads devoid of drivers.
“We received our letter of authorization, yes but we haven’t put cars back on the road yet,” they confirmed in a statement.
The programme understandably grinded to a halt when a driverless Uber in test mode struck a pedestrian and killed them, in Tempe, Arizona. This took place back in March, with authorities then confirming that the technology was not advanced enough to test safely on the roads.
Being the first death caused by a driverless vehicle, the incident put a huge dent in both consumers and the authority’s confidence, pushing the launch of driverless cars for commercial use back years.
Understanding that they have to put a great deal of work to get everyone back on side, Uber last month released a voluntary safety report; one that outlines their plans and commitment to safe testing. This was sent to US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, claiming that when in test mode, Uber cars will have two employees present.
They have also rolled out a new training programme for said employees, doing all they can to see their next set of on-road tests be both safe and successful.
Let us know what you think. Should Uber be allowed free reign of US roads or is it too early to expect their driverless technology to be advanced enough? Be sure to leave your comments below.