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Uber’s Testing With Self-Driving Cars Reveals Critical Interventions

By Charles Omedo , Mar 18, 2017 04:20 AM EDT
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Leaked reports indicate Uber hasn't been having it good with its self-driving vehicles in recent times. Recode published internal Uber information to reveal that the company's autonomous vehicles cannot go the standard one mile without a human driver's intervention. Uber however is cautious in addressing the public over the issue, choosing to remain silent and rather deal with the issue.

Uber Drivers To Take Over Controls Every 0.8 mile 

As at January this year, Uber had 20 self-driving vehicles on the roads; and here in March, it has 43 self-driving cars in California, Arizona and Pennsylvania. The autonomous vehicles achieved 5,000 miles in January but recent data shows they did 20,354 miles early March. This means a driver must take over controls in every 0.9 miles recorded by the self-driving cars way back in January, but that has improved to 0.8 miles earlier this month, Slash Gear reported.

The Recode report indicates that Uber has been busy increasing the number of its autonomous cars on US roads, but the cars can't achieve a one-mile standard distance without human intervention, PC Mag noted. The reasons why a driver must take over controls vary, but it could range from missing a crucial turn, performing a lane change, avoiding pedestrians and collisions, and dealing with inclement weather to navigating confusing lanes. This development had caused Uber's autonomous cars to stop abruptly, hit the brakes, jerk uncontrollably or just swerve for no good reasons.

Are Autonomous Cars' Issues Legislative Or Technological?

Given that several auto companies have been having it jerky with testing or running their self-driving cars, critics believe driverless cars are should still be in the future and not now. Automakers would however not agree, citing government regulations as their main problems whereby critics insist perfecting technology is their undoing. According to a user's comment on New York Mag, "I won't believe that ANY driverless car is worth considering until the CEOs of the respective companies use them for their only mode of transport."

Meanwhile critics also believe that driverless cars aren't built to help drivers take over, but to actually replace or supplant drivers. This actually seems to be the case but remains to be proven without doubts. For now however, Uber's management is not in a good mood given the leakage of the documents and the bumpy activities of their autonomous vehicles.

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