Uber testing self-driving cars in Toronto but only in manual mode for now
One of Uber's self-driving cars is seen in an image taken from file video provided to CP24 by the company.
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, August 23, 2017 10:17AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 23, 2017 10:29AM EDT
Uber has deployed two self-driving cars to Toronto streets as the company continues to research the technology but the vehicles will have a human driver behind the wheel, at least for now.
The vehicles are being driven by specially-trained operators from Pittsburgh and are primarily being used to complete mapping work in and around the University of Toronto’s campus, according to Uber spokesperson Susie Heath.
The testing comes about a year-and-a-half after the province enacted legislation that allows on-road testing of autonomous vehicles, so long as approved groups follow a list of precautions, including having a human in the driver’s seat at all times.
“We’re excited to advance the work of our Advanced Technologies Group’s Toronto lab,” Heath told CP24 on Wednesday. “These cars will be driven manually while conducting mapping. We have also obtained a permit from the province for future development testing.”
Heath said that the self-driving cars will be travelling on Toronto streets until the end of this week.
The vehicles, Volvo SUVs, carry Uber branding and have a spinning sensor on their roofs that is used for mapping.
In May, Uber announced that they would open a research facility in the MaRS Discovery District that would focus primarily on developing the software that allows self-driving cars to recognize objects.
At the time, the company said that the research facility would “further strengthen” their existing self-driving engineering efforts in San Francisco and Pittsburgh.