And in the real world.Uber says there'll be no better test track than Pittsburgh.
After its successful launch in London in August, Uber's ride scheduling feature will now be rolled out to eight more United Kingdom cities. And starting Friday, visitors to the British capital will see Uber cars equipped with scanners and mapping equipment pootling around as well. In a blog post signed by CEO Travis Kalanick and Uber's Vice President of autonomous technology, Anthony Levandowski, Uber stated it would invite their most loyal Pittsburgh clients to request an autonomous vehicle if one was available.
When the drivers are removed from front seats, the cars will likely be restricted to driving in specific locations under good conditions at first.A study released Wednesday by the University of MI found that 23 percent of Americans wouldn't ride in a self-driving auto. An engineer will be sitting in the front seat to intervene if need be. Uber has also been developing partnerships with automakers to further develop the technology and recently acquired Otto, an autonomous technology startup focusing on autonomous trucks.
Uber, last month, also announced its scheduled rides feature through which riders could book their trip 30 days in advance.
Uber sees self-driving cars as a means to help cut congestion in cities as well as free up 20% of city space now being occupied by parked cars. Consequently, as more people experience the technology, interest and demand for it will possibly increase.
An IPO is the first time that the stock of a firm will be offered to the public. Analysts have described Uber as saturated already in the U.S. market, and that the company is on a path to slower growth.
In the future, Uber believes self-driving cars will operate 24/7.
The race to get self-driving cars on the road is swallowing up a whole lot of investment dollars and Uber's latest move, which is essentially a large-scale real world experiment, could accelerate the arrival of the autonomous vehicle to the consumers.