Since its inception, Uber has had a problem with its drivers — by no means a large-scale problem, but still a notable one. So it’s not a total surprise that the company is working toward a driverless future, seemingly evolving into a tech company as much as it’s been a transportation one. Nearly a year after the prototype first blazed the streets of Pittsburgh, Uber’s self-driving car now has an official photo and blog post hyping what is to come, and it sounds ideal.
Real-world testing is critical to our efforts to develop self-driving technology. Self-driving cars have the potential to save millions of lives and improve quality of life for people around the world. 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. These goals are at the heart of Uber’s mission to make transportation as reliable as running water — everywhere and for everyone.
Uber’s self-driving cars are still being tested on Pittsburgh’s roads, due to the city’s “world-class engineering talent and research facilities,” according to Uber. It’s Advanced Technologies Center is there, where it utilizes Steel City’s “wide variety of road types, traffic patterns and weather conditions.”
The hybrid Ford Fusion comes with radars, laser scanners, and high-resolution cameras, all to help it collect mapping data and test its solo capabilities. There’s a trained driver monitoring operations, at least for now, as the future could be a lot less human. The headline-making tech certainly takes a focus away from Uber’s less-than-ideal reputation.