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Self-driving Uber cars spotted in the wild

Self-driving Uber cars have been seen driving around the US city of Pittsburgh.

Google isn’t the only tech company building a self-driving car. There are plenty of others, including smart taxi service Uber.

The controversial tech company has built a robotics lab in Pittsburgh, where it’s teaming up with Carnegie Mellon scientists to research and build a driverless cab service.

Now the first fruits of that initiative have been spotted out on the road. The Pittsburgh Business Times has snapped a driverless Uber car doing its thing.

In keeping with the company’s profile and general way of doing things, these test cars aren’t exactly subtle. The fact that they’re emblazoned with “Uber Advanced Technologies Center” kind of gives the game away here, while a chunky piece of equipment rotating on its roof reveals that this isn’t a private cab for the centre’s staff.

If any further confirmation were needed, Uber spokeswoman Trina Smith told the publication that “this vehicle is part of our early research efforts regarding mapping, safety and autonomy systems.”

Related: Driverless Cars: Everything you need to know

With Uber starting to build out its research operations in the city, the citizens of Pittsburgh can expect to see plenty more of this kind of thing in the future.

We can expect to see some driverless cars of our own this summer, with four UK cities – London (specifically Greenwich), Bristol, Coventry, and Milton Keynes – approved for testing programmes.

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