The ride-sharing company plans to push forwards its blooming business and self-driving cars are the next big step.
Uber’s ultimate goal, similarly to the other ride-sharing companies, is to get drivers out of its business equation. It would be a game-changer, as profits would be then seriously boosted. The Californian-based firm announced in February a partnership with the Carnegie Mellon University to form an Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh with the main focus on the development of key long-term technologies. And now, the tech center has deployed its first self-driving test car, a hybrid Ford Fusion packed with a variety of sensors including radars, laser scanners, and high resolution cameras to map details of the environment.
Fully autonomous systems are still a long way from being reliable, and this is the reason why Uber is taking slow steps, as it is focusing on getting the technology right and ensuring it is safe for everyone on the road. Real-world testing is a critical stage in the development process and “Pittsburgh is an ideal environment to test our technology across a wide variety of road types, traffic patterns and weather conditions,” the company said. “In the future we believe this technology will mean less congestion, more affordable and accessible transportation, and far fewer lives lost in car accidents.” But Uber is not alone in this quest. Google is also reportedly working on similar ride-hailing service, while GM alongside its Lift and Cruise Automation partners are already is some advanced testing phases.