Uber Planning To Revive Its Self-Driving Car Program With The Help Of A Former NHTSA Official
This is the reincarnation of the service for Uberby Sidd Dhimaan, on
Uber has decided to revive its self-driving car program nine months after the fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona that took the life of an innocent pedestrian. Uber has hired a former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) official, Nat Beuse, to work in the company’s self-driving car program. According to Reuters, Nat Beuse previously oversaw vehicle safety research at the NHTSA.
Uber’s Solution for Self-Driving Cars
In November, Uber sought permission from Pennsylvania officials to revive the program to test its self-driving cars on public roads. Uber’s self-driving program hit a roadblock when its prototype self-driving car killed a pedestrian earlier this year. Police said that the backup safety driver was streaming television behind the wheel.
This time, Uber said that it will implement new safety policies, one of which includes having two safety drivers onboard at all times and enabling the autonomous emergency braking systems installed by the automakers.
Uber received a lot of flak for disabling the system in the Volvo XC90 involved in the Arizona crash.
What They Had To Say
"Uber’s approach to self-driving vehicles is an opportunity to make a difference in safe commercialization of this revolutionary technology, which I’ve spent a considerable amount of time working within recent years," Beuse said in a statement. "It’s clear to me that the team here is dedicated to prioritizing safety."
Waymo Has Gotten A Head-Start
This crash put Uber’s plan on halt for a long time, and in the meantime, Uber’s rival Waymo continued making progress with its technology.
In fact, Waymo may launch its ride-hailing service using self-driving cars in Phoenix, Arizona before the end of this year.
Other than Waymo, automakers like Ford and General Motors are also working in this field.
It Will Earn The Companies More Than Traditional Taxi Services
Ride-hailing is certainly going to be the future in mobility services.
For mobility service operators, self-driving cars eliminate the need to pay human drivers, and autonomous cars can also stay on the road for a longer period of time, thus maximizing profits.
From an automaker’s point-of-view, deploying cars here makes more sense rather than selling to individual customers because the running will be higher, which means frequent visits to service centers, as well as more car sales. This may benefit Toyota in the hindsight as Uber has signed a deal with the Japanese automaker for joint autonomous-driving technology development.
Companies like Waymo are close to cracking the code that could see the industry go through a revolution of sorts. After making a good amount of much progress in this field, Uber was forced to back off after the unfortunate incident, and that was a big setback for the company. It will be interesting to see if Uber will be able to catch up with Waymo in the near future, especially after hiring an expert who can help pump up the whole process and give legal advice as well. What are your thoughts on this? Share them with us in the comments section below.
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