Self driving cars look to be the next step in automotive evolution, and Uber has joined the movement. Just a few days after Ford announced their deadline of manufacturing autonomous cars by 2021, Uber self driving cars have arrived. The fleet of autonomous vehicles could begin driving around Pittsburgh this month, as the official test city for Uber’s self driving fleet.
According to reports from Businessweek, Uber customers could be in for a surprise when calling for service. Although the Uber self driving cars will still be staffed by a human for now, Uber expects to be fully autonomous by the end of the year. The human driver is there as a buffer in case there’s a malfunction with the self driving system.
Inside Uber self driving cars
The self driving technology in Uber have been a long time coming. Partnering up with Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics division in early 2015, Uber began with a self driving Ford Fusion. The Uber self driving cars are going to primarily from their partnership with Toyota and Volvo.
Volvo’s partnership in particular is rumored at $300 million dollars, and includes a fleet of 100 self-driving Volvo XC90’s. Uber autonomous cars will be taking to the streets this month, but they won’t be stopping there.
Uber has also acquired Otto, a self driving start up tech company that focused on making autonomous trucks. Purchasing the startup for $680 million, Uber could be taking their self-driving tech to commercial semis using an expensive self-driving module.
With the move, Uber is the first ride-hailing company to make the leap to self-driving cars. Expect others to follow suit, as companies like Lyft, Google, Mercedes and Ford aren’t far behind.
Of course the self driving technology in the news of late is Tesla’s Autopilot. The transition for Tesla’s tech has not been a smooth one, with several accidents and even a death connected to the autonomous system. But it’s fair to say that Uber self driving cars in Pittsburgh marks a historic moment in automotive history.
What do you think about the Uber self driving cars? Would you trust one to drive you somewhere? Leave us a comment below and let us know!