Electronics and Semiconductors

Uber Lays Off Self-driving Car Staff in Pittsburgh

12 July 2018

A self-driving car in Pittsburgh after the company launched its pilot program. Source: UberA self-driving car in Pittsburgh after the company launched its pilot program. Source: UberAfter the media frenzy surrounding the death of a pedestrian at the hands of a self-driving Uber test vehicle earlier this year, the ride-hailing company has been re-evaluating its programs for autonomous vehicles.

After the incident, Uber suspended its self-driving operations across the U.S. Now, the company will lay off around 100 safety drivers — those that ride in Uber’s autonomous vehicles and monitor their operation.

While Uber plans to continue to test self-driving technology in the city, it will take place outside of the main streets and the company plans to hire 55 technical positions to assist in both on-road and track testing of the technology. Those employees in eliminated positions were free to apply for these new roles inside the company, Uber said.

Uber began its self-driving testing of vehicles in Pittsburgh in September of 2016 as a real-world experiment in order to see how the technology performed with real passengers involved as well as to obtain data on what needed work and development. An Uber employee was in each car during the trip to take control if needed or if the car had difficulty navigating.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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