PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There was something missing on streets of the Strip District this weekend: Uber’s self-driving cars.
An accident involving an autonomous Uber in Tempe, Arizona, prompted the company to suspend on-street testing nationwide while researchers and scientists at the Uber Advanced Technology Center in the Strip tried to pinpoint any problems.
Uber’s temporary grounding of its autonomous fleet was applauded by Audrey Russo of the Pittsburgh Technology Council.
“I think they’re erring on the side of caution. I think they’re just trying to be responsible and cautious,” she said.
Late Monday, after investigating the accident to its satisfaction, Uber announced that the vehicles would be returning to the streets in Tempe, San Francisco and in Pittsburgh.
In a call with the city, Uber said it would share all information on the Tempe accident, as well as any local incidents or concerns.
Mayor Bill Peduto said that Uber has been pioneering force in making Pittsburgh a hub for self-driving cars, and that its benefits to the our economy far outweigh the risks.
While relatively safe right now, Peduto said ultimately self-driving cars will reduce accidents and fatalities to a fraction of what they are today.
“We’re still the process of creating safer cars, safer traffic patterns, safer streets, but that still decades away,” he said.