In a rather surprisingly quick way-well, in actual fact one hour from the time that Electrik.co announced that Uber was launching its autonomous ride-sharing pilot program in San Francisco -it was all over.
Uber was trying to make the point that no permits were needed to drive a self-driving car, and they didn’t need to get permission from any California governmental authority either. But video showed that within the first few hours of operation one of those self-driving cars went straight through a red light in a pedestrian crosswalk.
Uber blamed the red light drive through on the driver of the car .Here’s the official Uber statement. “This incident was due to human error. This is why we believe so much in making the roads safer by building self-driving Ubers. This vehicle was not part of the pilot and was not carrying customers. The driver involved has been suspended while we continue to investigate”.
The Department of Motor Vehicles in California also responded: “The California DMV encourages the responsible exploration of self-driving cars. We have a permitting process in place to ensure public safety as this technology is being tested. Twenty manufacturers have already obtained permits to test hundreds of cars on California roads. Uber shall do the same.”
You can see the video of the red light drive through here. It’s the silver Volvo to the right.