Uber to begin testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh

Uber logoOne day, the Uber that comes to fetch you might not have anyone in the driver's seat. On Thursday, Uber announced that it will begin testing an autonomous Ford Fusion hybrid on the streets of Pittsburgh, home to Uber's Advanced Technology Center.

Drivers in Pittsburgh should have no problem spotting the research vehicle—it's carrying an array of sensors on its roof that includes a radar, lidar, and cameras. The Uber test car will actually be mapping its surroundings in addition to testing out autonomous driving—although there will be a human operator in the driver's seat at all times to take over at a moment's notice.

We've known for some time that Uber has had an interest in autonomous vehicles. In the past, the company had been working with Google, but that relationship apparently deteriorated last year. It's not the only ride-sharing service looking to ditch the human aspect, either. In January, we reported that General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft with the goal of developing a network of self-driving taxis.

Uber to begin testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh

It's also a somewhat confusing move for Uber given the company's current business model. There's a big difference between having a platform for people to use their own cars versus owning a vast fleet of vehicles itself. Right now, the company doesn't have to worry about—or pay for—maintenance, depreciation, insurance, or fuel; that's all outsourced to its drivers. Becoming a fleet operator changes the situation, with plenty of capital expenditure required—not just for the cars themselves but also for the infrastructure to maintain and park them when not in use.

But don't expect a driverless taxi any time soon. Outside of some very well-mapped areas like Palo Alto, we're still quite a long way from having sufficiently developed autonomous driving technology to be able to deploy proper level 4 cars (that can drive from A to B with no human interaction beyond telling the car the destination); almost every expert Ars has spoken to thinks 2030 might be a realistic target. That should give Uber plenty of time to save up some cash that it's going to need if this plan is going to work.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: automobiles, technologies

Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
Your comment:

Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party

Last news

Pokemon GO had the potential to net $1 billion a year
The report said that Hon Hai has invested about US$600 million in India
Market research firm IDC reports that in the third quarter of this year
Customers will only have to shell out 50% of the cost of their Galaxy S7 device
New flagship will launch in 2017
Patent hints at name of the upcoming Surface AIO
IBM, Globalfoundries and Samsung have chosen to use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light to pattern transistors
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
HP Slate 7 is a 7-inch Android 4 Tablet PC with good sound
A cost-effective, 7-inch tablet PC from a renowned manufacturer
October 25, 2013 / 4

News Archive



Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments