Uber Veers Into Google’s Territory With Self-Driving Cars

Ride hailing service opens center to experiment with driverless technology.

February 03, 2015, 9:15 AM
PHOTO: A woman leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco in this Dec. 16, 2014 file photo.
A woman leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco in this Dec. 16, 2014 file photo.
Eric Risberg/AP Photo

— -- The future we dreamed of decades ago is here -- and instead of flying cars, it's all about driverless vehicles.

Uber is the latest company to dive into the realm of autonomous driving technology. The company announced in a blog post Monday night that it is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University 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.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has previously expressed a fascination with driverless technology and said at a conference last year that autonomous 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."

The move into autonomous technology could eventually pit Uber against Google, which has been one of the company's biggest investors. The search giant is reportedly working on an Uner competitor using its driverless technology, according to a Bloomberg report.

Google and Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Larry Page, the search giant's CEO, has previously made clear that he expects the technology to play a huge role in the future and said it could have a "tremendous impact on people’s lives in terms of mobility."

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