PITTSBURGH - Operators for Uber's self-driving vehicles in Pittsburgh were laid off Wednesday, several months after the program was put on hold due to a deadly crash in Arizona.
More than 100 people were laid off between Pittsburgh and San Francisco. Uber said those employees are free to apply to other roles in the company, including the newly created mission specialist position.
The layoffs were first reported by Quartz, an online news organization focused on the economy and jobs.
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“Our team remains committed to building safe self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the coming months,” an Uber spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Earlier this summer, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto held a meeting with Uber executives to discuss the future of autonomous vehicles in the city. While specifics from the meeting were not released, Peduto told Channel 11 he asked Uber to be a better corporate citizen of Pittsburgh.
In response to the reported layoffs, Director of Communications for the City of Pittsburgh Timothy McNulty sent Channel 11 the following statement:
"The self-driving vehicle industry in Pittsburgh is thriving and adding jobs every day. Internal personnel decisions by one company or another does not impede that, or impact the industry's long-term growth."
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