A secret weapon for self-driving car startups: Humans


FILE PHOTO: A vehicle equipped with Pony.ai's self-driving technology is parked at the company's office in Fremont, California, U.S. June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Nathan Frandino/File Photo

FREMONT, Calif. (Reuters) -Self-driving startups like Cruise and Pony.ai have begun testing their driverless cars in some parts of California in the past year, with an additional feature: Human operators.

While there is no driver behind the wheel, the passenger seat is occupied by a safety operator who "has a red button that can stop the vehicle just in case anything happens," Pony.ai CEO James Peng told Reuters.

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