Attention Pittsburgh, That Uber Is Learning to Drive Itself

Uber Technologies Inc. gave a friendly heads-up to pedestrians and drivers in Pittsburgh, not to mention investors and competitors: The car on the road with all the strange-looking gizmos on top is learning how to drive itself.


A specially outfitted hybrid Ford Fusion—complete with radars, laser scanners and high resolution cameras to map details of the environment—will be on the streets of Pittsburgh in coming weeks, collecting mapping data and testing its self-driving abilities. Uber said a trained driver will be in the driver’s seat “monitoring operations” while the car is in self-driving mode.


The tests are part of Uber’s efforts, still in the early stages, to develop autonomous driving technology.


“Self-driving cars have the potential to save millions of lives and improve quality of life for people around the world,” Uber said in a blog post on its site, citing a statistic that 94% of car accidents that result in the loss of live involve human error.


In February 2015, the ride-sharing company announced it would partner with Carnegie Mellon University to open its Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh. It is preparing to launch autonomous vehicles in to its fleet by 2020.


Read more at Wall Street Journal


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