Back in March, an Uber autonomous test car struck struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. After the incident, Uber suspended their testing process, and the community at-large began asking some serious questions about the state of self-driving cars in our communities. Now, nine months later, that testing has resumed — but not without several restrictions in place.
Uber will resume testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, thanks to a new permit from the Pennsylvania Transportation Department. However, they’ll only be able to test in a specific area of the city. As before, Uber will use the Volvo XC90 for its autonomous testing. The area in which they’re testing has low speed limits in the range of 25 mph. Furthermore, there will now be two human backup drivers in the autonomous vehicle at all times. Other precautions include testing only during weekdays in good weather conditions. Those limits come in direct response to the circumstances that caused the March incident.
More Testing to Start Soon
Beyond Pennsylvania, Uber will eventually start testing in other areas as well. The company plans to start more human-controlled tests in Toronto and San Fransisco in time. Although, Arizona is not on the list of places to resume testing anytime soon.
Furthermore, Uber has enabled Volvo’s standard automatic emergency braking system, as a backup to their own systems. The company was not using this technology when the accident in Arizona happened.
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Self-driving technology isn’t just limited to the world of passenger cars, either: