Calling an Uber. What Driver?

Ride share company is experimenting with self-driving cars in a Pittsburgh pilot.

 

Just as we’ve gotten comfortable with the ride sharing model, Uber wants to kick it up a notch and bring self-driving cars into the mix.

The New York Times reports that Uber is starting a pilot in Pittsburgh where folks will have the chance to be shuttled around town by a modified, self-driving Volvo sport utility vehicle. If you’re panicking that self-driving cars aren’t ready for city streets, you can relax: Uber plans to have a human behind the wheel. Of course, the human won't be driving. But he or she can take over controls––just in case.

As part of Uber and Volvo's partnership, the companies plan to invest $300 million to support widespread use of self-driving cars, according to the article.

In another move showcasing its intense interest in autonomous vehicles, Uber also acquired Otto, a 90-person startup made up of Google and Carnegie Mellon engineering talent, which has created self-driving truck technology. Uber has already opened an advanced technology center with Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh.

Fasten your seat belt: The autonomous car is just around the bend.

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