Pittsburgh, your self-driving Ubers are now arriving.
The ride-sharing giant rolled out its first autonomous vehicles, Ford Fusions loaded up with with sensors and cameras, in downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday.
The vehicles are part of Uber’s first project where select customers can get picked up in one. They’ll still have a driver at the wheel, to take over if anything unusual happens or there are bad weather conditions.
— Pittsburgh PG (@PittsburghPG) September 14, 2016
If you’re wondering why Pittsburgh, it’s because Uber set up an Advanced Technologies Center there in 2015. It’s where the company is doing its self-driving car research.
Some of the first invited customers ordering up a self-driving ride on the Uber app were Pittsburgh’s Mayor and the President of Carnegie Mellon.
— City of Pittsburgh (@CityPGH) September 14, 2016
Uber says it sees a future with both drivers and Self-Driving Ubers. It also says if people are worried about jobs being lost due to driverless cars, they need not be. The company predicts self-driving vehicles will need a lot more maintenance than cars today.
This pilot is a big step forward. Real-world testing is critical to the success of this technology. And creating a viable alternative to individual car ownership is important to the future of cities. – Uber Blog
Uber recently teamed up with Volvo as well. Driverless XC90s will also be part of the project soon.
You can read more in Uber’s blog post.