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Innovative transport service Uber has made life easier for millions of people commuting around the world’s cities. Now, the company has taken its craft a step further by rolling out its first self-driving test vehicles in Pittsburgh in the US.
This comes a year after its technology centre was established in the city.
The program, currently in its pilot phase, will see a select number of vehicles traversing the tight streets of one of the country’s largest cities with a “safety driver” seated up front, just in case human intervention is needed.
Uber tested its self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week, which could lead to a mass rollout across cities in the future
As for people’s concerns, Uber noted that the fledgling technology will have its doubters, but it’s nonetheless “a big step forward” for the company, and transportation in general.
“We know that many drivers will have questions about this technology. It’s still very early: Self-Driving Ubers have a safety driver in the front seat because they require human intervention in many conditions,” said the company in a blog post.
“This pilot is a big step forward. Real-world testing is critical to the success of this technology. And creating a viable alternative to individual car ownership is important to the future of cities.”
Uber isn’t the first company to experiment with self-driving cars. Toyota, BMW and Mercedes are just three automakers trying to catch Tesla’s current autopilot feature. While Google is also pioneering its self-designed self-driving cars.
“This pilot is a big step forward. Real-world testing is critical to the success of this technology. And creating a viable alternative to individual car ownership is important to the future of cities,” Uber concludes.