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If you order an Uber in Tempe, Arizona, there’s a chance you may be picked up by an autonomous car, as the company officially rolled out a new fleet of self-driving Volvo CX90s earlier this week. Don’t worry if you’re wary of riding in one of these vehicles, as there are two Uber engineers who sit up front, ready to take over in case the technology malfunctions. Users can also cancel the request if they don’t feel comfortable enough — rides will cost you the same as a regular Uber trip, too.
The move is somewhat surprising, considering the company had recently halted its self-driving service in San Francisco due to a regulatory dispute with the California state government. Pittsburgh was the first city to receive autonomous vehicles, which were unveiled back in September. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey embraced the ride-hailing company and even took a ride in one of the new cars yesterday:
Arizona is pushing to eventually become a self-driving state. In 2015, Ducey signed an executive order urging state agencies to “undertake any necessary steps to support the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles on public roads within Arizona.” The governor has also pushed for technology companies to partner with Arizona Universities — in 2015, Uber and the University of Arizona worked together on self-driving research to improve how cars ‘see’ when they are on the road. Uber hopes it can expand its self-driving car service to more cities in the coming weeks.
As a reminder, If you don’t already have an Uber account, you can sign up through this link to receive a free ride (up to $20) from TPG. Keep in mind that there are certain credit cards that allow you to maximize the dollars you spend whenever you ride with Uber or Lyft — even if there isn’t a human behind the wheel.
H/T: The Verge
Featured image courtesy of Uber.
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