Uber, Pittsburgh mayor clash over plan to restart self-driving car tests

May 25, 2018

When Uber said Wednesday that it planned to restart testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, the announcement caught the city's mayor by surprise.

In response, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto lashed out against the ride-sharing service's communication—or lack thereof—with his city's government in the wake of a fatal crash involving an Uber self-driving test vehicle in Arizona in March. Peduto said that he learned of Uber's plan to revive testing in the Western Pennsylvania city via social media, not from the company itself.

In addition to the mayor's tweet, the city of Pittsburgh released a statement outlining two new conditions it wants Uber to adhere to when testing vehicles within its city limits. Pittsburgh said that cars testing autonomous technology will be limited to 25 mph regardless of the posted speed limit. Separately, it wants Uber's cellphone app to push alerts to human drivers when they exceed the posted speed limit.

MORE: Uber hasn't lived up to its end of the bargain in Pittsburgh

"I made it clear to Uber officials after the Arizona crash that a full federal investigation had to be completed, with strong rules for keeping streets safe, before I would agree with the company to begin testing on Pittsburgh streets again" Peduto said in the statement.

Uber says it contacted city officials May 9 and 10 and that it had an in-person meeting May 18 to discuss the changes to its self-driving car testing.

After one of its autonomous vehicles struck a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, in March, Uber said Wednesday that it will no longer test the technology in Arizona.

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