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Only hours after launching its first fleet of self-driving cars in San Francisco, Uber registered its first incident when one of its autonomous vehicles was caught on camera running a red light.
The video, posted on YouTube by user Charles Rotter, shows one of Uber’s autonomous Volvo XC90 SUVs (in dark grey) casually blowing through a red light as a pedestrian crosses the street. The footage was purportedly recorded by a dashboard camera used by another taxi service in San Francisco.
A few hours later, an Uber self-driving cab was involved in another incident.
Just passed a 'self-driving' Uber that lurched into the intersection on Van Ness, on a red, nearly hitting my Lyft.
While there have been no serious damages or injuries from the two mishaps, a spokesperson for the ride-sharing service has since responded that its engineers have looked into the matter and concluded that the “incidents were due to human error.”
“This is why we believe so much in making the roads safer by building self-driving Ubers. These vehicles were not part of the pilot and were not carrying customers. The drivers involved have been suspended while we continue to investigate,” the spokesperson added.
Earlier this year, Uber got the green light to run field tests with its autonomous cabs in Pittsburgh. Despite a couple of unfortunate fender-benders, reports suggest the incidents didn’t result in any lasting physical damage or trauma.
In addition to its problems on the road, Uber might also get in trouble with California authorities over its autonomous driving trials. According to reports, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has issued a statement claiming the ride-sharing app ran its field tests without securing the necessary permits.