August 23, 2016
You may have noticed the Uber’s first self-driving car roaming around if you are living around Pittsburgh. While residents have been specifying its presence for almost a year, finally Uber disclosed its plan about the self-driving car in a blog post on March 19. The car used by Uber is hybrid Ford Fusion and it is in early stages of its testing about safety, “will be gathering its mapping data and also testing its self-driving capabilities” in the coming months. The hybrid Ford Fusion is being managed out of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center, located in Pittsburgh. The car has been equipped with sensors including laser scanner, high-resolution cameras, and radar but the human rider has to be in the car at the times of its operation.
In the competition of launching the first self-driving car, Uber is doing serious efforts to be ahead of everyone. The move to Pittsburgh included hiring from the National Robotics Engineering Center and Carnegie Mellon University, in an effort to start the ATC program. They set up a shop in Pittsburgh intentionally because it is considered to be the birthplace of autonomous vehicles. According to Uber, Pittsburgh is an ideal place to develop and test the vehicle because of a wide variety of roads types, traffic patterns, and weather conditions. This city has a long history of innovation and it helps Uber for future transportation. The company said they believe their technology “will mean less congestion, more affordable, and accessible transportation, and far fewer lives lost in car accidents.”