Uber terminates self-driving cars service

Uber’s autonomous car heads out for a test drive in San Francisco. In a letter to Uber CEO Arizona governor Doug Ducey said he expected companies developing self-driving technology to make safety their top priority

A vehicle hauler toting three self-driving Volvos from California rolled into the Capitol just days before Christmas 2016.

Fox News Headlines 24/7 anchor Brett Larson discusses the incident, what it means for self-driving vehicle technology.

San Francisco-based Uber did not immediately reply to a request for comment. According to Reuters, Uber's self-driving auto only employed one Lidar sensor versus other its previous-gen self-driving test vehicle, the Ford Fusion which has seven Lidar sensors on board.

"Starting this weekend, we'll start testing some self-driving functionality". Uber's backup driver in the vehicle appeared distracted and didn't look up until roughly the time of the collision, according to an inward-pointed video also released by police.

Driverless cars have remarkable potential to make streets and highways safer than they've ever been. At the time, though, the governor failed to mention that Uber had been secretly testing such vehicles in the state since August.

Even if there were an agreement to keep Uber test-drives secret, that wouldn't violate any rules or regulations.

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What hasn't been resolved, however, is whether Uber will shelve their self-driving auto programs or continue to covertly test them while hoping for different results. And in the fledgling arena of autonomous vehicle technology, on-the-road, real-world testing is the only way these cars can reach a point where they're safer than having humans behind the wheel.

The decision Monday from a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found that although Uber's operations in Philadelphia were damaging for the taxi cab industry, they were a boon for cabs' customers. The governor helped Uber reach deals with Arizona officials and publicly supported the company. Uber's permit will expire Saturday, the letter said. There could have been a software failure in the Uber auto, said Richard Murray, an engineering professor at California's Institute of Technology and the former head of Caltech's student self-driving team.

Uber is investigating the incident, especially since the same GPS-inspired mishap happened a few years ago back in 2014, when a Vina Cab driver turned down that same set of stairs.

"It's a tragedy, but we have tragedies every day on our roads with humans in the auto", he said.

"The DMV is allowed to begin issuing driverless testing and/or deployment permits on April 2, but that doesn't mean a manufacturer will meet the requirements or if we will approve them", a DMV spokes told The Verge.

It might also want to consider using non-Uber navigation apps which tend to be more accurate. That includes that "intervention" report, how often drivers need to take control when the technology does not perform as expected. Uber was falling short of its target of 13 miles per "intervention" in Arizona.

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