Uber has taken the first step toward relaunching its self-driving cars on Pittsburgh-area streets four months after a fatal accident involving one of the cars in Arizona.
A spokeswoman said the company put a handful of vehicles back on the road at noon Tuesday, with some safety modifications to the cars and driver training. But for now, the cars won’t be free of human control or respond to ride-hailing calls.
The rollout, taking place only in Pittsburgh where the bulk of Uber’s engineering outfit and test track is located, will run the cars only in manual mode with two safety operators called “mission specialists” in the front seat. One of the operators will have their hands on the wheel at all times and the other will document any incidents or issues for future adjustments.
A car in autonomous mode is operated or driven without active physical control by a person sitting in the driver’s seat, while a driver operating in manual mode has the ability to brake, turn the steering wheel or control other operations.
“Building best-in-class self-driving technology will take time, […]