Pennsylvania gives Uber green light to resume self-driving car tests

December 20, 2018

Nine months after an Uber self-driving car was involved in a deadly crash in Arizona, the company has received the OK to restart testing thousands of miles away near Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania agreed to allow the company to begin self-driving car tests again, though it's still banned from operating its prototype vehicles in Arizona where this year's fatal crash happened. Automotive News (subscription required) reported Tuesday that the program's restart will come with many more safety nets than before as well.

DON'T MISS: Uber ready to restart self-driving car tests

Uber will once again place two backup drivers in its self-driving car prototypes. Previously, the company removed the second driver and left the entire workload to one human operator. Additionally, the self-driving cars will not operate at night, or in wet conditions, and an automatic emergency braking system will be active. The company deactivated the Volvo test car's automatic emergency braking system, which the IIHS said earlier this year could have prevented the fatality had it been functioning.

Uber will also not restart its passenger pickup service, either.

The city of Pittsburgh floated the possibility of implementing a 25 mph speed limit cap on the self-driving cars last month, which Uber will reportedly adhere to. Further, locals likely won't see the cars out in public often as they once did. Uber said it will begin its tests on a mile loop between the company's offices in the city.

READ THIS: Uber rethinks autonomous efforts in Pittsburgh in wake of fatal Arizona crash

It's unclear if and when Uber will begin tests again in California, which the company previously said it would restart this past summer. 

Uber's head of system safety for self-driving cars, Noah Zych, said last month that the goal will be to regain the public's trust after the March crash. Meanwhile, rival companies continue to forge ahead in other states across the U.S.

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