Uber’s self-driving cars hit Pittsburg roads under a test program

Uber’s self-driving cars hit Pittsburg roads under a test program

On Wednesday, ride-hailing service Uber launched a test program in Pittsburg under which it will make self-driving cars available to the general public. The test program launched by Uber marks the first-of-its-kind experiment involving self-driving cars in the US.

As part of the test program launched in Pittsburg, Uber is giving a select group of customers the ability to avail free rides in self-driving Ford Fusion vehicles. The self-driving Fusions which Uber is making available to customers in Pittsburg will have human drivers for backup.

According to 27-year-old Taylor Pollier, one of the Uber riders who has had the opportunity to avail a ride in the company's self-driving Fusion, the vehicle  "felt sharp" and offered a smooth ride to his workplace; and offered an experience similar to "taking an Uber any other day."

Uber's self-driving Fusions apparently underscore the potential to bring autonomous vehicles a step closer to becoming a realistic option for travelers, particularly if the vehicles being used for Uber's text program successfully show that the can handle all the challenges Pittsburgh offers to drivers, including snowstorms, rolling hills and a knotted network of aging roads and bridges.

Asserting that the test program "really pushes the ball forward" for Uber, Raffi Krikorian -- Director of Uber Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) in Pittsburgh - said: "We think it can help with congestion. We think it can make transportation cheaper and more accessible for the vast majority of people."

 

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