Uber makes progress in using autonomous cars. For the first time, Pittsburgh passengers who choose Uber will be able to test self-driving vehicles. According to the company, a number of Ford Fusions has already being equipped with the necessary technologies. It is important that autos will not be driverless. Human drivers will still be there to control the whole process. Nevertheless, this is a step forward to using fully automated taxis.
Uber representatives say that a passenger can choose between the traditional and self-driving type of car. Those who are willing to try new experience will have a free ride. In fact, the company has a laboratory in Pittsburgh which focuses on testing autonomous vehicles. It allows Uber to test their ideas thoroughly. The experiment has been held for the last few months. However, it is unlikely that the company will test their cars in other regions.
It is economically beneficial for Uber to employ driverless fleet. When there is no driver inside you do not need to pay him. Car ownership does not need to be paid either, so the amount of money spent on such approach is much lower. It is interesting that Uber has unveiled its plans on this aspect soon after Google presented it the self-driving prototype.
Silicon Valley company also says that it is starting to work with Volvo. They have already signed $300 million deal. As you might guess the companies will be able to improve Volvo XC 90 SUV. This car has a wide experience in testing autonomous technologies. Engineers of the model mostly focus on safety systems which can be used autonomously. The auto will be shown in London in 2017 with the opportunity to try it.
While many world companies compete in creating a self-driving car to reduce road congestion, Uber sees that such type of autos will lower the costs for passengers. It is fairly a threat to traditional carmakers and taxi companies as well. However, it is still unknown how far Uber can reach success in implementing autonomous cars. Such approach can attract a huge amount of buyers to obtaining autonomous vehicles, though.
A deal between Uber and Volvo is sensible, though. Uber will have experimental cars with a good discount while Volvo will have an opportunity to test their self-driving technologies without high risk. In addition, there are rumors that Toyota invests the certain sum of money in Uber experiments.
What is more, Uber has employed some of Google employees who work on big rigs providing them with self-driving technologies.