Thursday, 15 December 2016 11:41

Self-driving Uber stopped after red-light offences

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Uber has been ordered to stop a self-driving service in San Francisco after two of its vehicle were reportedly spotted going through red lights.

According to the Associated Press, the company was told to take its self-driving cars off the roads until it obtains the permit needed for testing autonomous vehicles on public roads.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles said Uber was expected to secure such a permit but the company claimed it did not need this clearance as a driver was also present in its autonomous vehicles that were on the roads.

Uber has been running such trials in Pittsburgh and the San Francisco trial is an extension of the programme.

The DMV statement read: "We have a permitting process in place to ensure public safety as this technology is being tested. Twenty manufacturers have already obtained permits to test hundreds of cars on California roads. Uber shall do the same."

The report of Uber autonomous vehicles going through red lights was published in the San Francisco Examiner.

The newspaper published video that showed a self-driving car going through a red light at the same time as a pedestrian was attempting to use the zebra crossing to cross the road.

The video was from a taxi company known as Luxor. Charles Rotter, operations manager at Luxor, confirmed to the Examiner that the video was from Wednesday.

"Yes, the dashcam of one of our ramp vans at 10:37 this am," he wrote, in an email.

The Examiner also quoted a tweet from a freelance writer saying: "Just passed a 'self-driving' Uber that lurched into the intersection on Van Ness [Avenue], on a red, nearly hitting my Lyft."


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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