Uber is making their self-driving fleet of vehicles available to the public, allowing everyone in Pittsburgh to get a ride in one of their autonomous test vehicles.
The popular ride-hailing service is basically starting to test the technology in real-life conditions with a safety driver always at the wheel to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Initially a fleet of four Ford Fusions equipped with LIDAR, 3D cameras and a GPS system will be driven around Pittsburgh streets, with a fleet of Volvo XC90s to be added on a later date.
“This pilot is a big step forward. Real-world testing is critical to the success of this technology,” said the company in their press release. “And creating a viable alternative to individual car ownership is important to the future of cities.”
“We know that many drivers will have questions about this technology. It’s still very early: Self-Driving Ubers have a safety driver in the front seat because they require human intervention in many conditions, including bad weather.”
Uber also said that even when these technology issues get fixed, ridesharing services will be provided by both drivers and Self-Driving Ubers. This also marks the first time a fully autonomous vehicle is made available to the public, proving Uber’s determination to have a proper self-driven fleet of vehicles providing their services.
Don’t get too excited though, as company’s officials believe that we are still at least a decade away from getting autonomous cars in regular production.