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27 July 2018

Uber’s self-driving cars resume trials in Pittsburgh in manual mode

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
Uber’s self-driving cars are being manually driven on public roads in Pittsburgh after a fatal crash which prompted the company to pull out of its testing programme in North America. The company is trialling new safeguards which it says will improve vehicle fleet safety and performance.

According to a report by Medium, Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber Advanced Technologies, says: “While we are eager to resume testing of our self-driving system, we see manual driving as an important first step in piloting these safeguards.”

An Uber mission specialist will be behind the wheel to help maintain the vehicle’s safely while another specialist will be in the passenger seat to document notable events. They will carry out tasks involving data collection and keeping the vehicle’s HD map up to date.

Meyhofer says all mission specialists have completed new training modules for safe manual driving which include dedicated time in defensive and distracted driving courses as well as improved test track situational awareness drills.

All self-driving vehicles will feature a driver-monitoring system to help mission specialists remain focused while driving. The system sends an audio alert to the driver if it detects inattentive behaviour.

Additionally, built-in collision avoidance systems will activate emergency braking if there is a sudden change in traffic ahead of the vehicle. It will also send imminent collision warnings to the driver and passenger.

The self-driving cars also come with a front tablet, where turn-by-turn navigation and vehicle information is displayed.

Uber Advanced Technologies consists of an engineering team who are dedicated to self-driving technologies, mapping and vehicle safety.

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