Uber Cracks Door to the Future of Transportation

On Wednesday, September 14, Uber added self-driving cars to their transportation offerings in Pittsburgh, Pa. The four automated cars will pick up and transport passengers in the Steel City the same as any other UberX, although the new service is currently reserved for Uber’s loyal customers and the press.

The reviews from tech and traditional news outlets are generally favorable, noting that the ride was safe, smooth, and surprisingly boring. The vehicles only rarely required intervention from the safety driver and engineer sitting in the front seat. The city of Pittsburgh recently allowed self-driving cars on the condition that a human being sits in the driver’s seat and can take control of the vehicle at a moment’s notice.

Uber is not alone in the self-driving revolution. Tesla, Alphabet (formerly Google), GM, and others have self-driving car projects as well, indicating a major push from tech startups and traditional automakers towards a future of automated transport on urban and suburban streets.

Forgoing legislative efforts to prevent these developments, Americans can expect to see an increase in prototypes and test projects and in the next few years there may be large scale, commercial deployments of self-driving cars. Uber has purchased 100 Volvos that it plans on retrofitting, the company’s first move to own physical assets.

Read Uber’s official statement on its Pittsburgh initiative here: https://newsroom.uber.com/pittsburgh-self-driving-uber/

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Ashton DeLano is a junior at the George Washington University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Economics with minors in Business Administration and Computer Science. He intends to cover developments in the health and energy sectors and the impact of new technologies on the consumer.

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