Uber’s Self Driving-Vehicles Ran at Least Six Red Lights in San Francisco

Almost one in three vehicle crash deaths are the result of drunk driving or speeding, but recent issues with Uber’s self-driving vehicles have raised concerns that they’ll ultimately be the cause of more than a few crashes in the near future.

The New York Times reported on Friday that traffic violations committed by the company’s self-driving vehicles were caused not by human error as the company previously stated, but by issues in the vehicles’ mapping systems.

Video of one such violation — a missed red light — surfaced in December 2016, and the company was quick to not only blame the human monitoring the vehicle’s systems but suspend them as well. However, according to data given to the New York Times by two anonymous employees, the cars’ mapping systems failed to spot at least six red lights aside from the incident reported in December.

The company, after blaming the red light violation on human error, said that exact issue “is why we believe so much in making the roads safer by building self-driving Ubers.”

In addition to running red lights, Uber’s self-driving vehicles have also been unable to safely navigate bike lanes. Another incident from 2016 details several Uber self-driving vehicles taking dangerous right turns and veering into bike lanes in the process.

The company pulled all of its self-driving vehicles from San Francisco just over a week after all of these traffic violations occurred. There are just about 110 million visits to emergency rooms annually, but more self-driving mishaps like these could make for a spike in those numbers.

Aside from traffic violations, the company was also in direct conflict with the California state regulators after it refused to pull the flawed self-driving vehicles from the road. The company claimed that the state rules “simply didn’t apply to them,” according to Fortune.

These incidents are only a few in Uber’s long history of stories chipping away at its reputation. The list includes disputes about drivers’ pay and benefits, rider safety, and reports of ingrained sexism at the company’s headquarters.

This all culminates at the same time as the “delete Uber” movement spurred by the company’s actions during President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration policies. Several ride-hailing services, including the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, didn’t pick up passengers from JFK Airport to show support for protesters, but Uber continued to transport passengers.

The movement was recently revived after a shocking blog from a woman who was a former engineer for the company detailed multiple accounts of sexism in the industry. The company claims the blog isn’t portraying the work environment accurately, but many people aren’t convinced Uber is in the right.

One thing is certain: Uber is definitely on thin ice right now.

Facebook Comments

Comments are closed.