Uber’s aggressive push for the testing and roll-out of autonomous vehicle technologies is continuing to cause headlines with news breaking that the company’s failed San Francisco pilot program was worse than first thought.
In December 2016, a self-driving Volvo XC90 operated by Uber was caught on dashcam driving through a red light. Now, Uber employees speaking in anonymity with The New York Times have revealed that the vehicles ran another five red lights, citing internal documents from Uber.
In a statement, Uber spokesperson Chelsea Kohler said that in the instance captured on film, the vehicle operator could have intervened and prevented the car running the red light.
“Our self-driving technology required human intervention. The vehicle operator had time to intervene, but failed to take over before crossing the stop line and manually proceeded through the protected crosswalk,” she said.
Additionally, it has emerged that the California DMV told Uber months before the launch of the pilot program that it would be required to get an autonomous testing permit to bring its fleet of Volvos to San Francisco’s street.
Despite this, Uber moved ahead with its plans and started testing on the city’s streets without the necessary permit. After initially refusing to remove its vehicles from the streets after a DMV request, Uber was forced to move the program to Arizona when the DMV revoked the registration of its autonomous SUVs.
Uber’s rapid development of autonomous technology has already landed itself in hot water and is the subject of a lawsuit from Waymo alleging that the ride-hailing service has stolen trade secrets.