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Chicago Considers Ban on Self-Driving Vehicles

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Uber Pittsburgh Self-Driving Vehicle Testing

Two Chicago Councilmen want to make sure no one can test self-driving vehicles like Uber is testing them in Pittsburgh
Photo: Forbes Twitter

Earlier this week, Pittsburgh entered the global spotlight when Uber started to begin testing its self-driving vehicles within the city limits. While many people—both industry experts and the everyday man—found this news exciting, there were two people who definitely didn’t. As Pittsburgh basked in the glory of helping this innovative technology advance, Chicago Councilmen Anthony Beale and Ed Burke decided that they were going to have none of those autonomous vehicle shenanigans in the Windy City.

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To prevent self-driving vehicles from being tested within Chicago limits, Beale and Burke have submitted an ordinance proposal. If this ordinance is passed, no entity or person—including Uber—will be allowed to test autonomous vehicles. The law would be enforced regardless of whether a person is monitoring the vehicle or not. If people do not follow this law, they will be charged a $500 fine.

In a recent statement, Councilman Burke stated, “We do not want the streets of Chicago to be used as an experiment that will no doubt come with its share of risks, especially for pedestrians. No technology is one-hundred percent safe.”

The ordinance specifically defines autonomous technology as any vehicle “…that has the capability to drive a vehicle without the active physical control or monitoring by a human operator.” For this new regulation to pass, the proposal must be deliberated at a joint committee meeting of Finance and Transportation.

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Currently, Uber’s self-driving vehicles are monitored by onboard supervisors, who are prepared to take over driving if needed.

Before the anti-autonomous technology ordinance is passed in Chicago, we hope that the city considers the ramifications of this decision thoroughly. Pittsburgh is paving the way to becoming a center for technology and innovation, which is why it has approved Uber’s use of the city for self-driving vehicle testing. If Chicago passes this ordinance, it’s possible that many will see this move as an anti-technology indicator, which could potentially harm the city.

News Source: Digital Trends