Uber is a technology company” reads the legal disclaimer on the ride-hailing-app company’s website, a claim that is as self-justifying as it is ambitious. Right now, Uber has so many driver-partners (as the company prefers to term them) that “more people earn a paycheck–or part of one–from Uber than from any other private employer in the world except for Wal-Mart and McDonald’s,” according to Forbes. That’s 1.5 million drivers, a truthfully massive number of persons that Uber very openly plans to replace with robots.
But apparently Uber’s robots drive like jerks, rendering to California regulators who have called for the company to stop carrying customers in self-driving cars. When Uber rolled out its self-driving Volvo SUVs in California, it did so without the necessary permits. And then Uber’s self-driving cars ran red lights, and were logged doing so.
That last car crossing in the gif? That’s an Uber SUV, with its sensor array noticeable on top of its roof rack. According to The Guardian, Uber claimed that the car running a red light was the fault of human error. To sort-of comply with local rules, Uber comprises a humanoid driver/observer in the driver’s seat.
After Uber hired a team of robotics researchers from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh became the first city where Uber tested driverless cars. These rehabilitated Ford Fusions carry a huge array of sensors, unlike the stripped-down array displayed by the Uber Volvos in San Francisco.
In a blog post published before the videos appeared, Uber walled its choice to put driverless cars on the streets before getting full authorizing.