Uber is launching the first driverless cars in Pittsburgh today, meaning for many, that the the future is now.
While the deployment of autonomous vehicles for the ride-hailing service is limited for the time being, allowing everyday people to test it out is a big step forward for this revolutionary technology. (RELATED: Uber Is Now More Legal In China Than In The US)
Such experimentation beyond the confines of an isolated testing facility is critical to see how the self-driving technology will react to the commotion of the real world.
“How do drivers in cars next to us react to us? How do passengers who get into the backseat who are experiencing our hardware and software fully experience it for the first time, and what does that really mean?” Raffi Krikorian, director of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Campus (ATC), told TechCrunch. Uber ATC is located in northeast Pittsburgh.
In addition to car cameras and GPS systems, the car is able to autonomously operate through a variety of advanced sensors located on top of the vehicle. The main system is referred to as the Lidar unit, which oscillates and spins on the roof in order to employ a laser that gathers 1.4 million different map points in only a second.
This results in a complete 360 degree view and makes driverless vehicles stand out on the roads.
Uber, whose business structure is based on data, catalogs each road test and then analyzes such data in order to perfect the technology. (RELATED: Uber Drivers Caught Smuggling Illegals Across The Border)
The driverless car project for Uber seems to have come to fruition, yet not completely. Such high-tech initiatives further exemplify Uber’s willingness and mission to be way more than just a ride-sharing service.
Didi Chuxing, China’s premier ride-sharing service, ended up acquiring Uber’s Chinese operations after Uber went all-in for the Chinese market.
Uber lost more than $1 billion in just the first half of 2016 and is continuing with its ambitious plans regardless. Uber doesn’t seem too worried about spreading its resources too thin.
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