Uber has announced that it is testing its first self-driving car, a hybrid Ford Fusion, around Pittsburgh throughout the coming weeks. The car, developed by Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center (ATC), is outfitted with a variety of sensors. These include radars, laser scanners, and high resolution cameras to map details of the environment.
But the car isn’t going solo just yet. A human will be in the driver’s seat to monitor operations.
Uber chose Steel City for its “world-class engineering talent and research facilities,” stating that Pittsburgh’s “wide variety of road types, traffic patterns and weather conditions” makes it an ideal testing ground.
Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto welcomes their choice: “We’re excited that Uber has chosen the Steel City as they explore new technologies that can improve people’s lives — through increased road safety, less congestion, and more efficient and smarter cities.”
Uber is making the shift to self-driving cars because, as they note, some 94% of road accidents involve human error. They are joining Google, Ford, Volvo, and Lyft in an alliance that aims to urge lawmakers to revise current existing laws stating that artificial intelligence is not (and cannot be) a legal driver.