Uber Resumes Manual Driving of its Autonomous Vehicles in Toronto

Following the recent release of its self-driving Safety Report, Uber has announced that starting today at 9:00 am ET, it will be resuming the manual driving of its autonomous vehicles in Toronto with a Mission Specialist sitting behind the wheel controlling the vehicle at all times.


The tests will be conducted on city roads and highways near Uber’s self-driving research and development hub located in the MaRS building. The company has said that these vehicles, with a second Mission Specialist sitting in the passenger seat, will be driven in Toronto to collect data and fuel novel AI technology, automated mapping, and for research on mapless driving.

Uber says that manual-mode driving will allow it to collect data needed to understand the different driving conditions that a self-driving vehicle might encounter when operating.

“Our automated mapping capabilities, once mature, have the potential to expedite the rate at which we build high definition maps, which is a time-intensive process,” said Raquel Urtasun, Uber ATG’s Chief Scientist and Toronto office lead. “We are pleased to resume manual driving of our autonomous vehicles in Toronto and excited about the potential that this data collection can have for our self-driving AI research efforts in Canada.”

The ride-hailing company has also recently announced a partnership with Crime Stoppers International in Toronto, Ottawa, offering drivers new tools to report any potential criminal activity all while keeping their identity completely anonymous.