Uber Launches Self-Driving Cars In San Francisco

By Shor M - 15 Dec '16 03:00AM

Uber has launched its self-driving cars recently and now it has been made available in San Francisco, California. The said innovative cars have been introduced months ago after going through tests in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Apparently, this Uber self-driving cars can be acquired through usual booking through the official Uber application.

The self-driving cars will of course have no one driving the car but because this is still in its early stage, someone else will be coming along to supervise the ride. During the test drive in Pittsburgh back in September 2016, it was emphasized that instead of a driver, an engineer will take the driving seat to ensure that everything goes well. And that if everything goes the way it should be then there will be no need for them tagging along in the near future.

But the latest report has it that the self-driving cars launched in San Francisco will have not just have one but two people tagging along for the ride. So with that said, people might want to check on the number of passengers first if they intend to try out the new self-driving cars as two seats have already been taken. The two operators will have one behind the wheel, though there won’t be much driving needed since the car is already programmed to do that itself, and the other will be in the passenger seat to collect data for future adjustments.

The self-driving cars idea is a collaboration between Uber and Volvo. The vehicles provided are equipped with seven cameras and a fast-spinning lidar system on top with Uber’s own self-driving technology integrated into the upgraded Volvo XC90s. It can detect pedestrians, the turns it has to make, and even go through traffic. Though the self-driving Volvos are going to be launched in San Francisco, it has been reported that the permits needed have not been obtained yet.

Unlike in Pennyslvania, California requires permit for autonomous vehicles to operate on public streets, let alone let it run without the active physical control or monitoring. California has issued Uber to pay $150 for the permit process. Nonetheless, the launch will seemingly push through and Uber has yet to announce just how many cars it will be deploying for operations. Booking the self-driving cars will pretty much cost the same as an Uber X and the destinations of the said cars will be limited only within San Francisco.

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