Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Launch in Pittsburgh

On Wednesday, Uber launched their self-driving cars to the public in Pittsburgh. The new Uber cars are still ordered through the app, but are only available to select Uber users, reports Recode. Some of Uber’s most frequent users will be able to receive a free ride—if their trip meets certain criteria. Trips will be limited to defined areas where engineers have been testing the vehicles.

The cars have 20 cameras and 7 lasers, as well as an engineer and a “safety” driver in the front seats. The lasers gather 1.4 million pieces of information per second and feeds it into the computer in the car. The safety driver is there to override the system if required.

The Verge reports that Uber’s goal is for the sensors and cameras to pick up enough information that the cars can summoned with nobody in it.

This endeavor marks the first time Uber will own their own physical assets. They will have to buy, insure, and maintain their own cars to fit the self-driving technology into. Another advantage? Unlike their human counterparts, who are restricted to working twelve consecutive hours, these cars will most likely be able to work non-stop.

Read more about Uber’s cars at GovTech.

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