Used Cars Pittsburgh Under 5000 – Nearly eight months after one of its autonomous test vehicles hit and killed Arizona pedestrians, Uber wanted to continue testing on public roads. The company has submitted an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to test in Pittsburgh, and has issued a long safety report promising to place two human reserve drivers in each vehicle and take a raft of other precautions to make the vehicle safe.
Company officials admitted that they had a long way to regain public confidence after the March 18 accident in Tempe, Arizona, which killed Elaine Herzberg, 49, as she crossed a dark road outside the crossing lines. Police said the autonomous Uv driver at Volvo SUV was broadcasting the television program “The Voice” on the phone and looking down before the accident.
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The National Transportation Safety Board said the autonomous driving system at Volvo saw Herzberg about six seconds before hitting it, but did not stop because the system used to automatically apply brakes in potentially dangerous situations had been disabled. The Volvo emergency braking system has also been turned off.
“Our goal is to really work to regain that trust and work to help move the entire industry forward,” Noah Zych, head of Uber’s safety system for self-driving cars, said in an interview. “We think the right thing to do is to be open and transparent about the things we do.”
Among other precautions, San Francisco-based Uber will maintain an autonomous vehicle system working at all times and activate the Volvo automatic emergency braking system as a backup.
In addition, Uber needs more technical training and employee expertise that sits behind the wheel of the vehicle, according to a 70-page security report released by the company Friday.
The report came after the vehicle-riding company stopped testing autonomous vehicles to conduct internal reviews of its security procedures, as well as outside reviews by risk management company LeClairRyan.
Although the report covers all major bases, Uber should go further considering the car driving itself killed Herzberg, said Bryant Walker Smith, an assistant law professor at the University of South Carolina who has studied issues affecting autonomous vehicles. In his most striking omission, Uber did not accept responsibility for Herzberg’s death – the first involved fully autonomous vehicles, he said.
“Frankly, I’m looking for more from Uber than from other companies, and I suspect that the government might as well,” Walker Smith said.
Under Pennsylvania’s voluntary autonomous guidance, the Department of Transportation has until November 13 to approve or reject the Uber application, or to ask further questions.
Pennsylvania law currently does not allow testing of autonomous vehicles without human backup drivers. The Google Waymo already carries passengers in the Phoenix area without a human driver, and General Motors’ Cruise Automation expects to do that next year.
Pittsburgh officials cannot legally prevent testing, but they are in security talks with Uber and four other entities that have permission to test autonomous vehicles, said Karina Ricks, director of the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.
For example, cities want to limit the speed of self-driving vehicles to 25 miles per hour in urban areas, even though the speed posted is higher.
“Lower speed gives more time for the vehicle and driver safety to react and prevent accidents,” said Ricks, who marked the conversation as fruitful.
Pittsburgh is home to the Uber autonomous vehicle development center, making it the logical choice to restart robotics car tests.
“We are involved with the city, with officials, and very excited, I think, to ensure that we return to the road in self-driving mode in close consultation and partnership with them,” said Miriam Chaum, head of public policy for self-driving vehicles Uber.
Then it will discuss bringing self-driving cars back to Arizona, California and Toronto, Ontario, other test sites. Arizona suspended company permission to test after the accident.
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