As some of you may already know, self-driving cars have hit the streets. Some countries are even testing out the use of self-driving cars in the form of taxis. In Singapore, the company known as nuTonomy already allowed hail free rides earlier this month. In North America, self-driving cars are on their way to becoming a real life phenomena. Take the city of Pittsburgh for example.
In Pittsburgh, Uber has begun to allow self-driving cars to hit the road. Interestingly, a passenger has to be located in the front seat of the self-driving Uber during Uber pick-ups at all times. This “engineer” sits in the drivers seat alongside the Uber rider at all times. If at anytime the engineer does not feel safe, he can smack a big red button on the dashboard to disengage from driverless mode. If the Uber rider feels unsafe, then he or she may ask the engineer to switch out of driverless mode. Thus far, self-driving cars have been unable to fully hit the road unmanned in the city of Pittsburgh.
Uber allowed for some of its more loyal members to first try out the self-driving Ubers. At first Uber considered using the Volvo XC90 as its self-driving car model in Pittsburgh. However, Uber elected to use the Ford Fusion as its first self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Uber has said that autonomous cars can reduce vehicle-related deaths (over 40,000 vehicle-related deaths in 2015).
One must note that the self-driving Uber cars in Pittsburgh are not your typical automobiles. Uber has installed over twenty cameras, seven lasers, and about fourteen hundred alternative parts that render millions of bits of data onto their self-driving cars.
Uber’s goal seems to be to eliminate the use of human drivers. Let us know what you think. Leave a comment about whether or not you think that self-driving cars will actually become a reality.