Uber's Testing a Car That Can Drive By Itself
Uber seems to be rolling out new products all the time — whether that's yachts for Art Basel, service between California and Mexico, on-demand helicopters or UberBoat in Istanbul. But now the ridesharing service is taking its modes of transportation to the next level with driverless cars.
Uber announced that it has begun testing a self-driving car at its Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) in Pittsburgh. The new car, a hybrid Ford Fusion, will have a driver sitting in the front seat, but only to keep an eye on the self-operating vehicle. Uber believes the self-driving car is the future of transportation, so it's testing the Fusion's capabilities, as well as collecting mapping data. The car uses radar, laser scanners and high-resolution cameras to map the details of its environment.
Here's what the company had to say about the service:
1.3 million people die every year in car accidents — 94% of those accidents involve human error. In the future we believe this technology will mean less congestion, more affordable and accessible transportation, and far fewer lives lost in car accidents.
Uber isn't the first company to experiment with this concept. However, it's the first ridesharing service to actually put a self-driving car on the road. Earlier this month, Lyft announced that it was partnering with General Motors to test self-driving taxis, but those tests have yet to begin. If this is really the future of transportation, Uber riders would be able to hail a ride from their phone, get in a self-driving car and arrive at their destination without any human interaction — essentially doing away with Uber's driver-rider rating and tipping systems.
Would you consider riding in a self-driving Uber?