Uber is moving forward with its self-driving cars. The company’s almost autonomous rides have hit the streets of San Francisco, picking up passengers along the way #automagic
A small number of Volvo luxury SUVs are set to pick up Uber users in the following weeks in San Francisco. Vehicles equipped with sensors for steering, acceleration, pushing the brake or changing lanes have hit the streets, as part of an ongoing pilot program Uber started in Pittsburgh. The idea is to find any and all glitches in the system before the service is made official for the public.
Users can spot the vehicles on their app and decide to go with them or opt for a normal ride. Either way, the price/ride is going to be the same and they won’t be alone in the car. As in Pittsburgh, Uber’s self-driving cars in San Francisco have a human behind the wheel, since they aren’t “sure of themselves” yet. The presence of a human in the self-driving cars is the main reason Uber has managed to escape Californian law. Normally, all autonomous vehicles require a test permit before they are “unleashed”.
The company argued, though, that their test cars are not totally autonomous and that a human is always on the driver’s seat, ready to take control if something goes wrong. So far, so good; the cars are still on San Francisco’s streets. With a bit of luck, Uber will finish the testing with flying colors and this technology will make transport safer.