Uber gets nod to resume testing of self-driving cars on roads

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Authorities in the US state of Pennsylvania have given Uber the green light to resume testing self-driving cars, the ride-sharing giant said Tuesday, after a fatal crash in Arizona prompted a pause.

Uber said it had received authorization to put autonomous cars back on the road in Pittsburgh, where it has a lab devoted to the technology, but has yet to actually do so.

The San Francisco-based company suspended use of self-driving cars in March after one struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel when it hit a woman walking in the street. In July, Uber said it was using cars with human drivers to test and improve autonomous capabilities.

The company, which is preparing to go public with an offering of shares next year, is in a self-driving car race with an array of companies including Alphabet-owned Waymo.

A self-driving car service being tested by Waymo was opened up to more people in the Phoenix, Arizona area, last month, according to chief John Krafcik.

About 400 “early riders” were already taking part in the fledgling service Waymo began testing early last year, Krafcik told a Wall Street Journal technology conference in Southern California.

He explained they can use a smartphone application to summon autonomous vehicles any time of day to get about in an area of around 250 square kilometers.

Over the course of several months, Waymo will open the service up to more people and give riders “more autonomy” in what they can do with it.

Waymo earlier this year announced it was adding as many as 62,000 Fiat Chrysler minivans to its autonomous fleet in an expanded collaboration by the companies.

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