Uber’s long rumoured autonomous vehicle plans have finally been revealed. The company has announced that it will be releasing a modified hybrid Ford Fusion onto the streets of Pittsburgh, USA to test its self driving capabilities.
The test car comes from Uber’s Advanced Technologies Centre, and comes fitted with an array of sensors that includes radar, laser scanners, and high definition cameras. Like most early autonomous vehicles, this Uber’s ATC car will also have a human driver sitting inside to ensure that nothing goes wrong.
This particular vehicle is doing more than just testing Uber’s ability to navigate streets without the need for human intervention. The sensor array is also collecting mapping data for Uber to improve its service; although this probably won’t have much of an impact on cities aside from Pittsburgh.
To be fair, Uber’s autonomous vehicle is not entirely new. It has been spotted driving around since last year; but this is the first time that the ride-sharing service has publicly spoken about what it is doing.
Few are surprised at this announcement, as Uber has been spotted recruiting engineers with automotive experience and even speaking to car manufacturers for purchases of vehicles. Many see autonomous vehicles as the future of transportation, and Uber’s involvement is only part of that vision.