The brilliant, convenient, and economically productive strides that Uber has made since 2009 have been quite impressive already, right? Creating at least 20,000 jobs a month for struggling, out-of-work adults, retired folks and even kids looking to make some extra cash on the side, both Uber and Lyft have contributed significantly to the job force increase and reduction of DUIs.
Well, here comes Uber again to step up their game with self-driving cars collaborating with some of the top experts in robotics in the world to create these technological chariots that will literally take us into the future.
Stirring up competition with Google and Ford, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is linking up with Volvo specifically for the self-driving Uber Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles, setting up camp in Pittsburgh three months ago. According to Kalanick, “Trips will be free for the time being, rather than the standard local rate of $1.05 per mile. In the long run, Kalanick says, prices will fall so low that the per-mile cost of travel, even for long trips in rural areas, will be cheaper in a driverless Uber than in a private car.”
Considering that Google has been playing around with the idea of self-driving cars for years, Tesla produced the Autopilot with some sweet cruise control and Ford is starting to dip their toes in the water, it is evident that Uber is running the pack with these recent developments.
Although this is quite unfortunate for the people employed by the other companies, they are and have been aware of this possible change for quite some time. Even with the new fleet in Pittsburgh, drivers will be remaining in the driving seats overseeing the controls for now, so we’re still in the game for the time being.
Another major reservation that should be mentioned is the safety factor of being carried around by a robotic car. Recently, Tesla’s Autopilot experienced a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer with a passenger in the car claiming that the “driver” and car’s computer did not see it; Tesla is currently dealing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over this matter.
Since Uber’s legendary Pittsburgh debut in May, one of the self-driving cars found itself driving through Allegheny River with Kalanick claiming they are struggling with the concept of bridges when it comes to the Volvos, joking about how many there are in Pittsburgh. Clearly, there are plenty of kinks to figure out before we are able to implement these machines across the globe, but judging from the determination and accelerated advancement ahead of the most successful and intelligent businesses in the world, we have faith in Kalanick.
Although it would be nice to save some money on these rides, we are still not 100% sure if this self-driving thing can be totally error-proof and safe. As we monitor the progress happening in Pittsburgh, we will gauge our feelings on that matter but for the meantime, we are just happy to see that people still are able to drive people!