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Uber lays off roughly 100 workers in its self-driving team

Most of the affected staff are in Pittsburgh.
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Nathan Ingraham/Engadget

Uber is scaling back its self-driving team in the wake of the fatal Arizona crash and the subsequent shutdown of its autonomous operations. The ridesharing company has confirmed to Pittsburgh's Action 4 News that it laid off about 100 employees in its self-driving vehicle team. It didn't specify their roles, but noted that most were in its Pittsburgh team while others were in Uber's home territory of San Francisco. Quartz sources reported that these were vehicle operators.

Some of those affected might still have jobs. They apply for 55 new mission specialist positions, according to Uber.

A spokesperson stressed that this wasn't the end to Uber's driverless vehicle plans, but that you might have to wait. "Our team remains committed to building safe self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the coming months," Uber said.

The cuts unfortunately make sense. Uber is still busy retooling its self-driving program for a greater emphasis on safety, and that could leave operators without much to do for months at a time. Even so, it adds to an already steep human cost for Uber's past decisions.

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