Earlier this year, Uber debuted its self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its Advanced Technologies Center is located. Today, the San Francisco-based company expands the fleet to include its hometown. The expansion into the Bay Area also includes the debut of the Volvo XC90 self-driving car, an SUV fitted with lidar (radar based on laser beams), wireless tech, and seven cameras. The car will be able to carry up to three passengers and will also feature a display for you to see what the car sees through its cameras and lasers in addition to another camera that will allow you to take a selfie in the backseat. You can check out the exact details on how the car will work here.
Anyone who requests a ride from UberX, the cheapest option offered, may be picked up in an autonomous auto. Users will have the option to accept or decline as they please and can still request for a human driver. Regardless, a human driver will sit inside the autonomous vehicles for safety precautions.
In a blog post, vice president of self-driving technology Anthony Levandowski said that “the promise of self-driving is core to our mission of reliable transportation, everywhere for everyone.” This new rollout follows hot on the heels of Google announcing Waymo, its autonomous car division, and partnership with Fiat Chrysler to develop prototypes. Let us know your thoughts below.