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Uber leak reveals rocky road to self-drive

Uber's progress towards its goal of a self-driving fleet of taxi vehicles is far from a straight line. A leaked internal document reveals the company is very much on a rocky road, writes TechCrunch.
 
The ride-hailing giant is currently testing self-driving vehicles across Pennsylvania, California and Arizona. But the results are not entirely satisfactory. 
 
The miles per intervention – i.e. the distance autonomous vehicles drive before a driver takes over – has gone from .9 miles in January up to a full mile in February, before falling again to .71 miles, and then rising slightly to .8 miles last week. 
 
As for so-called critical interventions, in which a driver has to intervene to avoid an accident, these went from 125 miles at the start of February to 50 miles the following week, 160 miles the week after that and down to 115 miles again the week after. At the beginning of March the counter stood was at 196 miles. 
 
A third parameter, “bad experiences”, measures the overall ride smoothness. Here, the tally dropped from 4.5 miles before a bad experience mid-January down to 2 miles by the first week of March. 
 
Even as the numbers improve in aggregate, they show that Uber still has a long way to go before its self-drive cars are ride-worthy. 
 
Image: diablanco, CC BY-SA 3.0 
17/03/2017  |  Frank Jacobs

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