Uber unveils its driverless car
Uber does not intend to limit itself to transporting people and delivering meals to homes. The Californian start-up has just presented its autonomous car. To launch its test phase in Pittsburgh, where its Advanced Technologies Center, Uber has opted for a Ford Fusion loaded with sensors, radars, laser scanners and high-resolution cameras in order to map the environment in great detail.
The automaker has been positioning itself for a few months in this sector. In January, Ford tested its autonomous car in the snow in Michigan before doing it again last April in Arizona, without headlights and in the middle of the night using a laser system. “If you drive around Pittsburgh in the next few weeks, you might witness a strange sight: a car that looks like it’s being driven by a superhero.“, Had fun the VTC platform about its new toy on his blog. However, for obvious safety reasons, a specially trained driver will be on board to monitor the operations of the car in autonomous driving mode.
Google, General Motors, Volvo and Baidu also in the race
By entering this sector, Uber could eventually do without a major tool that contributes as much to the success of the platform as to fuel controversy: drivers. In France, the Urssaf also attacked the VTC company for hidden work a week ago. However, Uber highlights the benefits of the autonomous piloting system to justify its strategy. “1.3 million people die each year in car accidents, 94% of these accidents involve human error. In the future, we believe that this technology will result in less congestion, more affordable and accessible transport, and also less lives lost in road accidents.», Explains the Californian start-up.
Uber isn’t the first Silicon Valley company to enter the smart car market. Google has notably joined forces with Fiat to develop a joint project in this sector. A fleet of 100 vehicles equipped with sensors developed by the Mountain View firm should thus see the light of day. In the same vein, General Motors has positioned itself on this technology by buying the start-up Cruise Automation last March and Volvo plans to conduct tests next year. For its part, Baidu, in partnership with BMW, claims to have successfully tested models on several roads in Beijing. The Chinese group now wants to conduct tests in the United States.