Uber Claims Humans ‘Bully’ Its Self-Driving Cars

Investors could pump $1 bn into Uber self-driving cars: report
JUSTIN SULLIVAN/AFP

Uber claims that its self-driving cars are being “bullied” by pedestrians and drivers who are “testing the boundaries” of the vehicles. The ride-sharing company says that people have been captured on camera giving the cars rude gestures and uttering rude remarks.

Eric Meyhofer, the head of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, says that the company has caught both pedestrians and drivers treating self-driving Uber vehicles with hostility, according to a report by the Daily Telegraph.

“We’ve seen people bully these cars,” said Meyhofer on Wednesday, “They feel like they can be more aggressive because we won’t take a position on it, or we’ll allow it.”

Meyhofer alleges that in addition to rude gestures and remarks, the cameras mounted on the self-driving vehicles have also caught people forcing the cars to stop by driving in an aggressive manner which includes tailgating the vehicles, as well as not giving them the right of way right at intersections.

“You’re on video, but still, people do bully them, and that’s a fascinating thing to see where people are testing the boundaries of what they can do to self-driving,” said Meyhofer, who also reportedly referred to these individuals as “mean-spirited.”

Uber is not the only company with self-driving vehicles being on the receiving end of “bullying.” Google has allegedly experienced similar issues with its self-driving company, Waymo, which reportedly has even included people slashing tires and pulling guns on safety drivers who are present to supervise the self-driving vehicles.

After being suspended for nine months following one of the company’s self-driving vehicles fatally striking a pedestrian, Uber decided to restart its self-driving program in December.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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