San Francisco

Uber to Resume Testing Self-Driving Vehicles in SF

The ride-hailing company's program was halted two years ago after a woman was hit and killed in Arizona


Uber on Tuesday was set to resume testing self-driving vehicles on public roads in San Francisco two years after suspending the program, according to a report from TechCrunch.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company halted its self-driving tests nationwide in March 2018 after an Uber SUV in autonomous mode hit and killed a woman in suburban Phoenix.

Later that year, Uber resumed on-road testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and since then expanded to Dallas, Washington, D.C, and Toronto, according to TechCrunch.

Testing in San Francisco will involve Volvo XC90 SUVs equipped with Uber's autnomous driving technology, with two employees in the front seats of the vehicles, the company said.

"A computer is driving this car, but a Mission Specialist is behind the wheel with a co-pilot in the passenger seat," Uber says on its website.

Along with the manual supervision, the tests come with other parameters for safety purposes, Uber said.

"Before beginning any self-driving vehicle testing on our test track or public roads, we establish an operational design domain (ODD), which captures the specific conditions under which our self-driving system will operate, including where and when," the company website explains.

Those parameters include: No more than two vehicles on a given day; operating in the city proper; and daylight-hours testing only.

Uber has said self-driving vehicles are the future of transportation and, if done right, have the potential to make roadways safer and traveling more affordable.

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