Brace yourself for driverless cars. Car service app Uber has been reportedly testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Here’s more information from the Associated Press:
“Uber says it has outfitted a Ford Fusion hybrid with radars, laser scanners and high-resolution cameras. It’s using the car to test self-driving capability and collect mapping data.
A trained driver remains behind the wheel for now. Uber says it’s still in the early stages of its self-driving tests.
The San Francisco ride-hailing company says Pittsburgh is an ideal place to test self-driving cars because it has a wide variety of weather and road types.
Uber Technologies Inc. announced a partnership with Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University last year.”
This comes as The Wall Street Journal reported earlier in May that Uber rival Lyft was testing self-driving Chevrolet Bolt cars, which is an electric vehicle. The Lyft/General Motors partnership isn’t surprising, given how GM made headlines by investing $500 million into Lyft earlier this year.
Autonomous vehicles are clearly gaining steam. After reading this, it seems rather scary to hail an Uber or Lyft car without any driver present. Plus, some people enjoy conversations with the driver. In the beginning, Lyft riders were encouraged to sit in the front seat to avoid the perception that the app was a formal chauffeur service.
It’s unclear as to how soon we’ll see driverless cars on the road. Clearly there are plenty of regulatory hurdles to deal with in terms of how these cars would interact with traditional cars on the road.
What are your thoughts? Would you be open to a driverless Uber or Lyft ride?
If you haven’t tried Uber yet, you can get a $20 credit on your first ride when you sign up here.