Uber resumes from its temporary halt in its pilot program
The self driving cars have been tested by Uber before the launch of the vehicle for public use. Uber had built the autonomous cars in Pittsburgh at the Advanced Technology Center in Pittsburgh with the help of the professors and students of the Carnegie Mellon University.
Testing resumed from the break
The ridesharing giant rolled back the self driving cars in the city after the crash of one of the self driving cars in Tempe in Arizona. After the crash incident, the company stopped the pilot program as the human driven car was unable to yield to the Uber vehicle during the turn. Though the Uber car is accompanied by a human driver to take control of the wheel when needed, however during the crash the Uber vehicle was in the autonomous mode.
Crashing of the autonomous cars:
The ridesharing giant has always been very keen on promoting the self driving technology and self driving vehicles, but the company held its testing program because of the crash of the vehicle. The self driving Uber car, Volvo SUV crashed in Arizona; luckily it did not have passengers in it. But there was a driver and engineer occupied in the front seat. According to the police report no serious injuries were reported during the accident, but as a precautionary method the company halted the testing of the self driving vehicles temporarily. It was said that the company even stopped the testing program in Pittsburgh.
The local police of Tempe reported that the Uber car was not the reason for the crash because the human driven car that came along the road from the opposite direction was unable to yield the space for the self driving vehicle that causes the self driving vehicle to crash and fall on the other side.
Though no one was injured or hurt during the accident, it was a bad timing that the crash had taken place when some of the employees from the ridesharing company who were working on the self driving cars were accused for stealing the intellectual property from Google’s autonomous project Waymo. There was a lawsuit filed against the ridesharing giant by the tech company that insists the lidar concept in the self driving car was stolen by the ridesharing company. Furthermore, the company had faced many internal issues within the organization.
After an investigation into the crash accident, the ridesharing company is evident to resume the pilot project in all the cities in the United States, like San Francisco, Pennsylvania, Tempe and Pittsburgh. The crashes that occur because of the self driving vehicles are stated to be expected in the transportation industry by the autonomous technology exerts, and they have stated that as the technology evolve so will the safety of the public. The Professor of Mechanical engineering and robotics, Hod Lipson from the Columbia University stated that the self driving vehicles will improve as the number of trips it goes each day, while the humans might possess a constant record in safe driving. However, there is a false myth about human driving that revolves around the world that they a human driven vehicle gives a secure ride. This is a misguiding concept that is potentially dangerous and offers false comfort.
The United States of America is one of the countries in which many manufacturers are testing the self driving cars. And it was only last year that the Transport department released the guidelines for the manufacturers regarding the self driving cars.
Regulation imposition over autonomous cars
The ridesharing company brought its self driving cars to San Francisco after the completion of the testing program in Pittsburgh. However, the driverless cars were not appreciated in the city by the City authorities and officials. The Department of Motor Vehicles of California requested the ridesharing company to obtain a regulation license to test the self driving cars in the city.
The DMV received a report that the ridesharing company was testing the self driving cars in the highways of the city against the law. On hearing the report, the DMV informed the company that if the company fails to acquire the license permit it should not ride the self driving vehicles in the city. However, Uber claims that it had already acquired the regulation and that it would not receive permit once again. Therefore, the self driving testing program was stopped by the company and it transported all the self driving cars to Arizona.
Also, the other main reason for the DMV to force to seek the license was because of the complaint about the Uber self driving cars. The police department has two complaints on the autonomous cars with video evidence of the cars, in which the car violates the traffic signal and in another case when it hit the lane. After the police record with the evidence caused DMV to stop Uber’s self driving testing program in the city.
Waymo autonomous testing
There are indications available that shows that the ridesharing giant has a long way to develop its autonomous technology when compared to Waymo. Though Waymo vehicles were involved in 3 crashes in 2016, it was not restricted from testing its pilot program.
The company’s self driving cars drive five thousand miles on an average before the human driver takes over the wheel, this was the report released by DMV regarding the testing of Waymo last year. They also have a report on how many times a driver must take control of the autonomous vehicle. When compared to all the companies that are testing their self driving vehicles, Waymo is far better than Nissan, Ford, Tesla and other companies, however the companies define the disengagements according to the working of the cars.
The self driving cars of Waymo have a system called the lidar that is radar used as a laser and can scan about two hundred yards from all the direction around the vehicle. This system can help the autonomous cars by predicting the pedestrian’s direction based on the direction they are facing. Apart from the lidar, the self driving cars use radars, internal maps and cameras to understand the surrounding and move on the road.
Technology differs to the company
Each company uses different technology in building the autonomous vehicles like the autopilot feature is used by Tesla Motors that are semi autonomous and it uses a range of sensors that keeps the cars in a lane and maintains a constant distance between the vehicles. However, the semi-autonomous cars are not efficient in driving point to point and are in need of human assistance at each stage.
While other companies like Uber, Waymo, Ford and General Motors are working on autonomous cars that need not require driver assistance.
Autonomous testing in Arizona
All the companies are testing their driverless cars in different parts of the country in the United States.
Ford is testing the autonomous technology vehicles in Wittmann in the north of Phoenix and is also testing the vehicles in Michigan and California. Waymo is operating its autonomous vehicle in different parts of Arizona like the Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix. The company uses Chrysler Pacifica hybrid, Lexus RX 450h minivans. The company also is testing its fleets in Austin, Mountain View in California, Kirkland in Washington and Austin.
The General Motors is testing their autonomous electric Bolt vehicles in south Scottsdale, which is similar to San Francisco. The Company has partnered with Lyft, and is planning to bring out the autonomous technology to the market. The ridesharing giant Uber’s Volvo SUV is seen in several parts of Phoenix and internal document information leaked states that the company is also testing in Scottsdale road near the State University. Apart from Arizona, the company is testing in California and Pennsylvania.
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