It seems everyone is trying to get in on the autonomous car action, with Google, Apple, Ford, and others all preparing various driverless technologies.
And now we’ve been formally introduced to Uber’s first self-driving car, currently being tested on the roads of Pittsburgh.
The Ford Fusion hybrid was first spotted in the city last year, and has now been revealed in a blog post on the company’s website.
Hardly the ‘car that looks like it should be driven by a superhero’, as claimed in the post, the driverless Uber car would be considered relatively unassuming were it not for the array of radars, laser scanners, and high resolution cameras affixed to the roof.
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Uber says the car will be collecting mapping data on its travels, as well as testing out the autonomous tech, and a trained driver will be behind the wheel while the testing is carried out.
The company also says in the post: “While
“Right now we’re focused on getting the technology right and ensuring it’s safe for everyone on the road — pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers.”
This is the first time the San Francisco-based ride-hailing firm has made its self-driving ambitions official, although its efforts in Pittsburgh have hardly been a secret up to this point.
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The company chose Pittsburgh as a base for its Advanced Technologies Centre – a department made up of robotics experts working on driverless tech.
While personal driverless cars are still a long way off, many companies, including Ford, have made clear their view that the first autonomous vehicles to be released are likely to be for-hire vehicles.
That puts Uber, already one of the most popular for-hire companies in the world, in a great position if it can refine its driverless tech in time for the advent of autonomous cars.
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