Uber pulls self-driving cars from California roads

Photo from Instagram user Marco Vanucci

“One week after at least two of Uber’s self-driving cars bolted through red lights, and after state regulators tried to revoke their registrations, the rideshare company announced Wednesday that it would suspend the program in California, at least for now.”

“And an Uber spokesperson says: ‘We have stopped our self-driving pilot in California, as the DMV has revoked the registrations for our self-driving cars. We’re now looking at where we can redeploy these cars but remain 100 percent committed to California and will be redoubling our efforts to develop workable statewide rules.'”

“While Uber’s California self-driving car operations have stopped, their Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania program continues.”

“Besides hearing a second hand account of an AV going the wrong way down a one-way street no one in my organization has been made aware of any other illegal or dangerous maneuvers here in Pittsburgh,” says Scott Bricker, a former San Francisco resident turned director of Pittsburgh’s bike coalition.”

Here’s the entirety of Scott’s interview:

“The law regarding car drivers merging into bike lanes at intersections is a California but not Pennsylvania state law. My supposition is that many more people in SF therefore are predisposed to looking for a violation of that behavior than here because here [in Pittsburgh] it is not illegal.”

“While I don’t want to downplay this illegal maneuver that I’ve read about, if I gather, it seems to have been done not in the presence of a person on a bike. I wonder would the partially autonomous vehicle have done anything dangerous if it had sensed a person using the bike lane? That’s more of a question for Uber probably. But I understand why people might be a bit worried.”

Having faith in partially autonomous vehicles to make the right decision when it’s you or someone you care about in that vulnerable position hits at the heart of what the controversy is about. The people of Pittsburgh and San Francisco walking and riding and driving our streets haven’t necessarily signed up to be part of this grand experiment. An experiment in which it’s easy to recognize the potential of people getting injured or killed along the way. It’s why collectively we look to our policymakers for assurances that they’ve thought through these things and are working to protect us through this process.

“Most of us at BikePGH see the enormous potential benefit of taking the human element out of driving. The day can’t arrive fast enough for us when human beings aren’t driving cars. Look at the stats. People are terrible at it. But, that said, it’s also a lot of a corporation and government to ask of people to be cool with being part of an experiment that’s happening regardless of their permission. ”

Read full article on Curbed San Francisco

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