Uber Ends All of its Self-Driving Operations in California

Posted March 29, 2018

Autonomous cars use radar, cameras and LiDAR to detect obstacles and pedestrians in their path. Reuters reports that Uber scaled back to a single LiDAR sensor on the Volvo test cars the company now uses in its fleets. After that fatality, the ride-hailing company temporarily suspended its driverless auto testing in Tempe, Pittsburgh, Toronto and San Francisco, the four cities where it operates the cars.

After a self-driving vehicle killed a pedestrian near Phoenix earlier this month, The Guardian obtained emails between Uber and Ducey's office showing that the company first been testing self-driving cars in Phoenix in August 2016 without the public's knowledge.

Now, a letter from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to Uber's autonomous vehicle program shows that the company has decided not to renew its testing permit. The current permit from the California DMV is set to expire on March 31st, according to the Associated Press. Pennsylvania said in a statement that it will work with Uber to "ensure any restart of testing is done with safety as the top priority".

Cars from Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, which has logged the most self-driving miles of any company, went about 5,600 miles between interventions in California, according to its disengagement reports.

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Uber had already suspended its autonomy program in Arizona immediately following the accident in a move that the company described as proactive.

"We made a decision to not reapply for a California DMV permit with the understanding that our self-driving vehicles would not operate on public roads in the immediate future, the spokeswoman said, according to CNET".

Reuters also reported that Nvidia is also suspending its self-driving testing in the aftermath of the Arizona accident.

Ducey sent a letter to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi calling the video of the incident "disturbing and alarming". The Volvo was in self-driving mode with a human backup driver at the wheel when it struck 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, police said.

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They reveal how Uber offered workspace for Ducey's staff in San Francisco, praised the governor lavishly, and promised to bring money and jobs to his state.

For its part, Uber says it will continue to cooperate with investigators.

Instead, Uber declined to discuss the specifics of the crash with the California DMV and will simply let the permit run out.

In a separate incident, the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation Tuesday into the fatal crash of a Tesla auto equipped with a self-driving system.

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