by Drew Johnson
Uber lays off 100 autonomous car operators in Pittsburgh

The announcement is another blow to Uber’s target of establishing a self-driving vehicle.

Uber’s ambitious autonomous automobile ideas took one more hit this week as the trip hailing company terminated its staff of self-driving car operators in Pittsburgh. The transfer was influenced by a fatal crash involving an Uber exam motor vehicle and a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona earlier this 12 months.

Pittsburgh has served as one particular of Uber’s principal testing hubs for the previous couple of many years, but the firm’s operations there have been on maintain given that the lethal March incident. Uber was hopeful that it would be ready to restart its self-driving application in Pittsburgh this summer season, but the firm’s hottest announcement casts doubt on that objective.

Uber’s self-driving auto operators were tasked with the occupation of sitting down at the rear of the wheel of autonomous test automobiles in scenario human intervention was demanded, but the organization confirmed on Wednesday that it has laid off 100 operators and eliminated the placement totally. Uber says it strategies to exchange these displaced workforce with 55 so-named “mission professionals” that are skilled in both on-road and check-track driving. The self-driving auto operators weren’t necessary to have that degree of complex teaching.

“Our crew continues to be committed to building protected self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to community roads in the coming months,” an Uber spokesperson reported in an emailed assertion to Quartz.

Uber suggests it will let its former self-driving auto operators to use to the new posture of mission specialist. There is no timeframe for when Uber’s self-driving check automobiles may possibly be back again on community roadways.