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Uber Thinks Self-Driving Cars Still Have A Future After Fatal Crash

Autonomous Car / 1 Comment

No word yet on when Uber will resume testing of its self-driving car service, though.

The recent fatal Uber taxi crash was one of the most widely reported car-related stories in the media last month. Tragically, 49-year old Elaine Herzberg was hit and killed by a Volvo XC90 fitted with Uber's self-driving technology after the autonomous car failed to detect her walking across the street in Phoenix. Testing of Uber's self-driving cars has been suspended following the accident. The supplier of the tech was quick to point out that Uber disabled the Volvo's safety tech, which would have almost certainly prevented the accident.

Unsurprisingly, the accident has raised questions about the safety risks of using self-driving cars. Uber, however, believes that self-driving cars still have a future, despite the fatal crash. "We believe in it," said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at a transport forum, as reported by Automotive News. The CEO added that Uber considers autonomous vehicles "part of the solution" and key to eliminating individual car ownership in the long term. "Autonomous (vehicles) at maturity will be safer," he insisted. Considering how much Uber has already invested in the technology, it's not surprising that the company will continue to support self-driving cars, since it will be a key part of its future ride-hailing service.

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That said, it still isn't clear when testing of Uber's self-driving service will resume, or if any changes will be implemented as a result of the accident to improve safety. He also hasn't given any indication what might have caused the accident, but reiterated that Uber is dealing with the incident "very seriously" and cooperating with federal investigators.