Most of the issues reported so far by passengers of Uber's services have all been driver-related and hence, wouldn't it be great if we could eliminate drivers from the equation? Well, that is what Uber seems to be trying to do, probably in hopes of making the service more reliable, as the company is quietly setting up shop at Pittsburgh – it's 'Advanced Technologies Center'. In fact, the company's test cars have already started rolling out and they have Uber's 'Advanced Technologies Center' emblazoned on the side.
The company had announced earlier that it would be coming up with an 'Advanced Technologies Center' in Pittsburgh wherein they will work on the area of mapping, vehicular safety, and driverless technology. "This vehicle is part of our early research efforts regarding mapping, safety and autonomy systems," said Sarah Maxwell, a Uber spokesperson. It should be noted though that the vehicle spotted in Pittsburgh isn't a driverless vehicle and is instead used by the company for research purposes, which, in this case, might have been for mapping. Having said that, there's reason to believe that Uber is working on its driverless technology, and we may get to see the self-driving cars anytime now.
The company spokesperson declined to reveal much about its self-driving cars, which from a competitive standpoint, isn't quite surprising. However, Uber is not the only company making an effort to come up with self-driving cars, as Volvo too is testing a similar vehicle and Google has never been out of the picture. In fact, few believe that Apple too is eying the market and may step in, directly or indirectly. Google has been testing driverless technology since 2010 and Uber announcing to develop its own driverless car, put it in direct competition with the networking giant. While for Uber, all this is financially motivated, one that could possibly reduce costs by about 34 cents every mile, Google's interest in it is more related to the advancement of technology, and according to industry experts, the Menlo Park-based tech giant may come up with a fully autonomous vehicle by 2020.