Uber Has Created A Fake City In Pittsburgh To Test Its Autonomous Cars

Ride-hailing giant Uber has created a fake city in order to test its self-driving vehicles.

Located in Pittsburgh and dubbed ALMONO, the facility is a mish-mash of roadways, complicated intersections, fake cars and unpredictable pedestrians, all designed to rigorously test Uber’s autonomous vehicle software.

ALMONO currently occupies an 11,000-square foot slab of land along the Monongahela River and Uber wants to expand its fake city by an additional 13,000 square-feet.

Among the most challenging parts of the city include fake pedestrians which can unexpectedly cross the street and prop vehicles driving dangerously. Uber says it is simulating scenarios far more complex than those a self-driving vehicle will encounter on public roads.

“We have obstacles and mannequins that move and can cross the street in front of the car. We have prop vehicles zooming around. In most situations, we simulate those in such a way that they’re worse than anything you would see out on public roads,” Uber vehicle operator Rick McKahan said.

It is not only the Uber vehicles which must prove their abilities in the city before hitting public streets. Hundreds of vehicle operators are required to complete a selection of written assessments and tests on the ALMONO track before they can monitor the cars in the real world.

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  • I assure that this fake city simulation won’t do any good. Unless you recruit several hundred pedestrians and motorbikes as a “test material”. And they have to be not afraid of getting run over or even get killed by the robot cars.

    • Bash

      Exactly.

    • Knotmyrealname

      True, and I saw a google video where they did just that. I guess when you introduce people (pedestrians) into the test scenario, you should have a human back-up driver just in case.

      • Jay

        Animals, kids, old signs and lines, etc… I don’t think the system will ever be good enough tbh.

        • Knotmyrealname

          It’ll never be perfect, but I think eventually it’ll be more capable than people.

          • Jay

            What laws do you think it would break?

          • Knotmyrealname

            I don’t know about breaking laws, but it may be overwhelmed by a situation and choose to stop rather than proceed (ie temporarily shut down). But look at the current stats, 1.8 million miles with 13 minor collisions. A rough average of people’s driving would be 12,000 miles a year over say 60 years which is 720,000 miles. How many accidents to people have in that time? More?

    • LWOAP

      You mean by each other. Humans behind the wheel, especially distracted ones, are more of a hazard than robots. You need both distracted drivers and really bad ones to make it authentic.

  • John

    CNN will flock there for their new HQ.

  • fabri99

    Much like a driving license test course – only for artificial intelligence.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    So now the Uber driver can attack his victim all while traveling to their destination. Nice. Way to go Uber. You guys rock…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5cca267f49020e215e7ab36a8bddcd7e234c98ac2d74553f78236f54cd2e5a11.png

  • Braddo

    All this unsurity about cars doing alot if the work – and every day people take to the skies with most of the flight covered by electronics…. no one whines about that

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