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Self-driving Ubers can’t keep out of bike lanes and it could be deadly

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Uber has admitted its self-driving cars are having problems recognising cycle lanes, days after it began testing autonomous pick-ups on public roads in San Francisco.

In a statement given to The Guardian on Tuesday, the ride-sharing firm said “engineers are continuing to work on the problem” that causes the cars to make unsafe and illegal turns into lanes designated for cyclists.

The issue was reported by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition who witnessed the turn first hand from the passenger seat of a self-driving Uber, claiming it made an “unsafe right-hook-style turn through a bike lane.”

Related: Uber bans customers from, ahem, riding while ride-sharing

Now the drivers manning the autonomous vehicles as part of the tests have been instructed to take the wheel and make the right turns manually, when they intersect with a cycle lane.

“The fact that they know there’s a dangerous flaw in the technology and persisted in a surprise launch,” said coalition spokesperson Chris Cassidy, “shows a reckless disregard for the safety of people in our streets.”

The revelation follows reports the autonomous cars have been running red lights and are failing to stop for pedestrians at crossings.

Uber defied the California Department of Motor Vehicles orders to proceed with the tests that are ongoing in the Silicon Valley city.

The California attorney general has even threatened legal action against the start-up if the tests aren’t halted immediately. So far the call has been unheeded.

Death by Driverless Car - Who's at fault?

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