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​Uber's self-driving cars hit speed bump in Pittsburgh

The city is reportedly asking the ride-hailing startup to give more back to the former steel town.

Uber Self-Driving Exterior
Pittsburgh officials say Uber has a moral obligation to give more back to the community if the city is going to allow self-driving cars.

There are apparently no fast lanes when it comes to Uber's self-driving car initiatives.

The latest pothole is located in the former steel town of Pittsburgh, where the city reportedly wants the ride-hailing startup to commit to giving more back to the community before it will greenlight its self-driving pilot program.

"If they are going to be involved in economic disruption, they have a moral obligation to society," Mayor Bill Peduto said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "In a partnership, it's not just what we can do for them."

Peduto wants Uber to sign a memorandum of understanding demanding better work conditions for Uber drivers, services to elderly residents and improvements in fuel efficiency, The Journal said.

An Uber spokeswoman said the company hasn't seen the memo, but noted that it's proud to have put Pittsburg on the self-driving map. "We hope to continue to have a positive presence in Pittsburgh by supporting the local economy and community."

Uber is also running self-driving car pilot programs in Arizona and California. All three pilot programs could be halted by a lawsuit filed against Uber by Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google's parent company Alphabet. A scaled down version of the San Francisco project is now underway after the company battled it out on regulatory matters with California. And an accident last month led Uber to temporarily suspend its pilot due to safety concerns.

First published April 3, 11:56 a.m. PT.
Update, 1:43 p.m.: Adds comment from Uber.