Uber, the company of the future – like Tesla or Hooli – has begun testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh. The days of creepy Uber drivers asking us extremely personal questions before nearly wrecking their Nissan Altimas are slowly dwindling.
And while cities like Austin have reverted back to the dark ages by eliminating ridesharing while angering an estimated 100 percent of their in-touch residents, Uber treks on towards a day where cars will essentially be robots transporting us without the need for human interaction.
From USA TODAY:
The ride-hailing behemoth announced in a blog post Thursday that it has begun testing a self-driving car in Pittsburgh, home of the company’s nascent Advanced Technologies Center.
The car, a Ford Fusion Hybrid with a roof-full of radar, lasers and cameras, will be collecting road-mapping data as well as testing its real-world traffic reactions. Uber’s interest in autonomous car technology dates to a year ago, when the $60 billion start-up began hiring Carnegie Mellon University robotics experts to staff its new center not far from the Pittsburgh-based school.
As with all self-driving cars that are approved for testing on public roads, Uber’s vehicle will have a safety driver who can take over the controls should the situation demand it.
I honestly don’t know how I would react if a self-driving car picked me up to drive me somewhere. On one hand, it’s pretty cool to see us go from shitty flip phones to self-driving Ford Fusions in like 10 years. On the other hand, it feels like we haven’t learned anything from Will Smith’s warning in I, Robot.
Did we design these cars…to be trusted??
And while the autonomous car research has advanced 1000-fold in the last few years, it will likely never fully thwart the “I’m not getting in a God damn car that doesn’t have a driver” sentiment that remains one of its biggest obstacles.
But the bigger hurdles remain both regulatory and psychological. Many consumers still express fear of self-driving technology, while government officials continue to grapple with establishing a series of overarching national regulations to govern everything from how the cars should interact with each other to what happens if there’s an accident.
Only time will tell. Until then, you can find me hailing yellow cabs on the street corner like a fucking neanderthal. .
[via USA TODAY]
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