What Mysterious Uber Test Vehicle Was Doing in Pittsburgh

Take one look at the mysterious Uber car spotted on the road in Pittsburgh earlier this month and it's clear it isn't a typical vehicle in the ride-hailing app's fleet.

A device appears to be rotating on the top of the Ford sedan, along with "Uber Advanced Technologies" emblazoned on the side of the vehicle. A photo of the less than inconspicuous car was posted by the Pittsburgh Business Times.

As Google's driverless cars prepare to hit the road around the company's Mountain View headquarters this summer, Uber told ABC News the bizarre vehicle was not a self-driving car.

"This vehicle is part of our early research efforts regarding mapping, safety and autonomy systems," an Uber spokesperson told ABC News via email.

Uber announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University in February to open the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh.

"The center will focus on the development of key long-term technologies that advance Uber's mission of bringing safe, reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere," the company said in a statement announcing the partnership.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has previously expressed a fascination with autonomous driving technology and said at a conference last year that self-driving cars would drive down the cost of hailing a ride since customers would no longer have to pay for the driver, or as Kalanick put it, "The other dude in the car."