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Pittsburgh Upset Over Uber's Driverless Vehicle Program

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May 26, 2017—After nine months of Uber's driverless ride program, Pittsburgh residents and officials say Uber has not lived up to its end of the bargain, according to CNBC

According to the city, Uber's transgressions include: The company began charging for driverless rides that were initially pitched as free; Uber withdrew support from Pittsburgh's application for a $50 million federal grant to revamp transportation; and the company has not created the jobs it proposed in a struggling neighborhood that houses its autonomous car testing track.

Uber said it was open to a deal with Pittsburgh but had yet to see a draft of proposed commitments the city is seeking from the company. Uber said it planned to share some data collected by its autonomous vehicles with the city this year, though Pittsburgh officials say the data Uber shares with other cities is insufficient.

"Uber is proud to have put Pittsburgh on the self-driving map, an effort that included creating hundreds of tech jobs and investing hundreds of millions of dollars," the company said in a statement. "We hope to continue to have a positive presence in Pittsburgh by supporting the local economy and community."

While Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto had originally trumpeted his relationship with Uber's chief executive, Travis Kalanick, he didn't get any commitments in writing about what the company would provide for Pittsburgh. That became an issue in Pittsburgh's Democratic mayoral primary this month, with Peduto's challengers criticizing his relationship with Uber.

"This was an opportunity missed," said Michael Lamb, Pittsburgh's city controller, who has called on Uber to share the traffic data gathered by its autonomous vehicles.

 

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