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Uber is resuming self-driving tests following fatal crash earlier this year

The tests will resume in Pittsburgh, but only in manual mode.

Uber Software Glitch self-driving
Image: Uber

Uber’s restarting its self-driving tests in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. However, for now, these tests are only being performed in manual mode. The resumption follows a crash in Arizona earlier this year that caused the death of a bystander.

According to Engadget, the tests in Pittsburgh will each contain specially-trained “mission specialists” who will be in control of the cars at all times. Another specialist will record any “notable events.”

It explains,

While it may not be immediately obvious how having manual drivers helps the self-driving program, Uber notes that it lets them visualize more scenarios its vehicles will encounter in real time. Those interactions are recreated in a virtual world and in test tracks to improve self-driving performance.It also helps Uber add more detail to its maps.

Since Uber stopped its self-driving tests in March, it has made a number of changes, including the addition of a real-time driver monitoring system. There’s also a built-in collision avoidance system and modified tablets in the vehicles that provide turn-by-turn directions and vehicle status info.

Uber also says human drivers are now getting additional safety training that’s focused on defensive and distracted driving and test-track awareness drills.

Despite these changes, Uber is no longer going to test self-driving vehicles in Arizona. It announced in May that it would be abandoning the program there following the March crash in Tempe. In addition to Pittsburgh, driving tests are resuming for Uber in the San Francisco, California area.

A software glitch caused the crash in Arizona that killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, it was later determined.

What do you think? Should Uber restart the tests? Let us know below.

For other Uber news, see:

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Bryan considers himself a well-rounded techie, having written articles for MakeUseOf, KnowTechie, AppAdvice, iDownload Blog. When he's not writing, he's being a single dad and rooting for his alma mater, Penn State, or cheering on the Patriots.

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