Uber Admits It Has A Problem With Driverless Cars Cutting Off Cyclists

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Uber — the ride-sharing company — was hit with more criticism this week after bike advocates argued the newest self-driving technology does not properly account for nearby cyclists.

Uber is currently defying regulators in California who ordered the company to stop the autonomous vehicle services. (RELATED: Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Accused Of Running Red Light For Second Time, DMV Isn’t Happy)

The San Francisco Bike Coalition said when a car turns right from its lane, it can potentially cut off a cyclist turning the corner and encroach into the bike lane.

“It’s one of the biggest causes of collisions,” coalition spokesman Chris Cassidy said, according to The Guardian, adding that the group warned Uber of the issue. “The fact that they know there’s a dangerous flaw in the technology and persisted in a surprise launch shows a reckless disregard for the safety of people in our streets.”

Uber did not dispute or confirm the assertion that it knew of this problem before initiating the autonomous driving features for some of its services in San Francisco.

“We take safety very seriously. We’re aware of this and we’re working to address it. All our vehicles operators have been instructed to take over our vehicles when they’re making these turns,” a representative for Uber told TechCrunch.

Uber is a founding member of the Self-Driving Coalition For Safer Streets, which aims “to promote the benefits of fully self-driving vehicles and support the most safe and rapid deployment possible of these innovative and potentially life-saving technologies,” according to the consortium’s website.

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