Arizona’s Driverless Car Testing Programme Ended By Uber

It was about two months ago that a pedestrian was killed in an accident that involved a driverless test car of Uber in Arizona, U.S., following which the company announced the closure of its self-driving car operations there this week.

But the company said that it might restart self-driving tests in Pennsylvania some time this summer.

The ride hailing company said that it is committed to driverless technology and “looked forward to returning to public roads”.

It can be noted that the company has just reported a significant jump in the number of bookings for the main taxi hir4ing business of the company for the quarter ended March this year.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was the first place where Uber had first started testing of its self-driving cars in 2016 and had later also started doing so in other cities of the country include places like Arizona, San Francisco, California and Toronto.

All of the tests were stalled by the company after the accident in March that initiated a huge debate about the readiness and safety of driverless car technology.

Uber is also reported to be conducting a “top-to-bottom safety review” for its self-driving programme that include its software and training.

Following the conclusion of the investigations about the accident expected to be completed this summer, Uber hopes to restart tests in Pittsburgh.

Following that other locations would also be considered by the company.

Jobs of about 300 employees in the self-driving programme in Arizona of the firm would be lost because of the incident. also affected would be over 500 employees of its traditional taxi service in Arizona.

Because of an outcry over the accident, Uber was ordered by the governor of Arizona to halt tests.

There was a jump of 51% in the most recent quartering ride bookings for the core business service of the company that generated total revenues of $11.3bn and this helped the company to almost half the losses in the first quarter of 2018.

There was an increase of 73% in income which subtracts driver payments and other items from bookings, at $2.6bn.

Driven largely by the sale of business units in Russia and south east Asia, the quarterly profits of the company were $2.5bn despite the fact that the company has in recent years faced a spate of scandals and retreated from overseas markets.

But when such on off items are excluded, the company recorded loss of $312m which is significantly better than the loss figure of $598m reported for he same quarter a year ago.

Because of the fact that the company has made investments in its food-delivery and new bike-renting service, the company would likely remain in the red, said Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi.

“Given the size of the opportunity ahead of us and our goal of making Uber a true mobility platform, we plan to reinvest any over-performance even more aggressively this year, both in our core business as well in big bets like Uber Eats globally.”

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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