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Uber’s self-driving vehicles hit the roads in Washington, D.C.

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Starting January 24, Uber’s self-driving cars have hit the District roads in Washington, D.C. for data collection.

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Importantly, these cars will be in manual driving mode, meaning a Mission Specialist (a specially trained vehicle operator) will maintain control of the vehicle at all times.

Uber first launched in Washington, D.C. in late 2011, the sixth city launched globally. Since then, it has been expanding into new modes like shared POOL rides, wheelchair accessible options, JUMP e-bikes and dockless scooters, and linking Uber users with public transit to help them access the transportation modes that best fit their needs.

The company is on a mission to deliver safe and reliable self-driving technology to Uber users around the world. Uber Advanced Technologies Group has already started this journey in Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto.

Uber is using a phased approach to develop and deploy its self-driving vehicles, taking the necessary steps to operate safely in every city. Manual data collection is the first step in the development process and part of how the company is validating its self-driving expansion approach. This manual data collection allows Uber to develop high-definition maps, the foundational information layer for our self-driving system and capture scenarios that might be different from city to city to simulate and incorporate into on-track testing.

The company can further refine its expansion methodology, which involves identifying key characteristics within an operational domain in a new city, and then running that data through its autonomy system in simulation and on test track to verify that the self-driving system performs as intended before it drives on the road.

This first round of manually driven data collection will lay the foundation for testing vehicles in self-driving mode in Washington, DC. Uber will remain committed to ensuring that every mile it drives on public roads contributes safe and meaningful learnings to inform the development work.

Uber's approach to self-driving technology is to keep everyone on the road safe, whether one is in the self-driving cars or is crossing the street in front of it. That's why the company is working closely with local stakeholders and city officials and engaging with the Washington, D.C. community every step of the way.

The San-Francisco based company believes that self-driving technology can play an important role in expanding transportation access, and it is committed to developing this technology with safety at its core.


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Uber’s self-driving vehicles hit the roads in Washington, D.C.
Modified on Monday 27th January 2020
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Uber’s self-driving vehicles hit the roads in Washington, D.C.
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