Uber Takes Self-Driving Car for a Spin in Pittsburgh

Ride-hailing company has outfitted a hybrid Ford Fusion with autonomous tech.

ByAlyssa Newcomb
May 20, 2016, 11:20 AM

— -- The Uber of the future might not even require a driver.

It's been no secret the ride-hailing app has been curious about exploring self-driving vehicles. Uber showed off a hybrid Ford Fusion equipped with autonomous technology, which the company said it plans to test on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

"Real-world testing is critical to our efforts to develop self-driving technology. Self-driving cars have the potential to save millions of lives and improve quality of life for people around the world," the company wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

In addition to reducing traffic fatalities -- 94 percent of which are caused by human error, according to Uber -- the company said it also hopes autonomous driving technology will lead to a reduction in traffic jams and create "more affordable and accessible transportation."

Uber stressed its still "in the early days" of its self-driving efforts and said the company is "focused on getting the technology right and ensuring it’s safe for everyone on the road." When the vehicle is in self-driving mode, a trained driver will remain in the driver's seat and will monitor operations, according to Uber.

The vehicle will have its work cut out for it. While on the road, it will also collect mapping data of the environment using its sensors, laser scanners, and high resolution cameras, according to the blog post.

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