Uber plans to re-launch its self-driving vehicle technology in the state of Pennsylvania after the program was suspended earlier this year. The carpool stopped operating the program in several cities after one of their cars crashed in Tempe, Arizona in March.
A Uber spokesman told Gizmodo that the company has no immediate plans to return its autonomous cars on public roads, even though the on-road tests resumed in manual mode. Following the release of the safety report to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday, the company will now await approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation before proceeding to test its self-driving technology.
According to Reuters, the company said in its report that it would allow automatic braking, put in place better supervision and training of its workers, and ensure that two employees would drive on one of the front seats of their autonomous vehicles during the tests. Pro Reuters:
Uber said a key recommendation of an internal review after the Tempe crash is the improvement of the "overall software system design" of self-propelled vehicles. Uber said in its safety report released on Friday that the vehicle has improved "system latency", allowing objects and actors to be detected more quickly and safe reactions to be carried out more quickly.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting an investigation, said in May that Uber had recorded observations of the pedestrian about six seconds before the impact. However, only 1.3 seconds before the impact, the system had determined that emergency braking was required.
The Company also published a summary of its internal and external assessments and a separate external audit by the law firm LeClairRyan.
Dara Khosrowshahi, the company's chief executive officer, said the company "deeply regretted the crash" in a letter published in its report to Medium.
"Competitive pressure in the construction and marketing of self-propelled technologies can lead developers to miss the remaining development challenges," he added. "At Uber, we believe it is extremely valuable to share operational security approaches and coordinate with others in the industry to develop ways to measure and demonstrate advances in self-drive development."
Uber discontinued its self-driving car program early this year after one of its vehicles struck and killed 49-year-old pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in an autonomous driving test.
At the time of the crash, the recordings of the Dash cam showed that the replacement driver in the vehicle may have been looking at his cell phone, though Uber later said it was "a strict policy that would limit the use of mobile devices to anyone using our self-driving vehicles. prohibited ". Police reports released by the Tempe Police Department later considered the crash "completely avoidable."
The National Transportation Safety Board issued a preliminary report in May, stating that the vehicle's sensors were registered a few seconds before the accident but were ignored and not stopped. According to the report, this was due to the fact that an emergency brake system was deactivated to ensure a quieter driving while the vehicle was in autonomous mode.