Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Wednesday that the company will resume testing of its autonomous cars "in a few months." The high-speed company landed its fleet of autonomous vehicles following a fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona. and since then he has said he was awaiting the publication of a preliminary report by federal traffic investigators before restarting the program.
That moment seems to be approaching quickly, according to Khosrowshahi. Speaking from the stage of the second Uber Elevate annual conference in Los Angeles, Khosrowshahi said he expected the company's autonomous vehicles to return to the road shortly after the publication of the National Traffic Safety Board report, as well as a report "from top to bottom". "Internal security review that Uber was carrying out at its Advance Technologies Group in Pittsburgh.
The accident occurred at night in early March in Tempe, Arizona The Uber vehicle was heading north when a woman, identified as Elaine Herzberg, 49, was beaten while pushing a bicycle across the street Herzberg was taken to the hospital, where she later died from her injuries Recent reports suggest that Uber's autonomous driving software may have been adjusted in such a way that the vehicle "decided" it did not need to take evasive measures, and possibly pointed to the detection as a "false positive".
In the accident, there were indications that Uber's self-control program was potentially fraught with risks: On the one hand, Uber had reduced the number of "safety controllers" and n their two-to-one test cars, according to a report from the New York Times . This explains why the driver who was in the car that killed Herzberg was alone.
Then, at the end of March, Reuters discovered that Uber had reduced the number of LIDAR sensors on its test cars. (LIDAR is considered by most as a critical hardware for autonomous driving). All this happened in an environment with little oversight by the Arizona government. Emails obtained by The Guardian in the weeks following the accident detailed a relationship between Uber and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, which may have allowed the company's test cars to hit the road even earlier of what was thought. Khosrowshahi also considered the possibility of ending the autonomous driving program when he took office last August.
But in the Elevate event, Khosrowshahi sounded optimistic about the future of Uber in autonomous vehicles. Uber has been working "hand in hand" with the NTSB, and would not be "tweeting before his findings," Khosrowshahi said, in an apparent exaggeration to Elon Musk, who has been fighting with the agency.
"We are doing the right thing, we are pushing too hard, and it is being done at the expense of security," Khosrowshahi said of his ideas about innovation, "and if so, we must take a step back". .. We will win by the talent of the technical people we have in our offices. "
When it is resumed, Uber's self-driving program may seem quite different from what it was before the fatal accident.Arizona has moved to prevent The company tested its vehicles in the state, and Uber refused to renew its test license in California, which would leave Pittsburgh, where Uber has been testing its vehicles for several years, as the only outpost for the Uber program. 19659010]