When was the last time you took an Uber to a destination? It should not be too long ago for sure, and the ride-hailing company continues its expansion back in the place where it all started by introducing its self-driving car service in San Francisco. However, the city where Uber was founded and is based in is not the first to enjoy Uber’s self-driving car service, but rather, it is the second to do so -- after the Steel City, Pittsburgh.
You will travel around in luxury and style too, with Uber’s self-driving vehicle being the sexy Volvo XC90. This SUV will boast of lidar, which comprises of laser beams, wireless technology and up to seven different cameras which have been strategically located to make sure that you will be able to get from point A to point B on time -- and more importantly, safely. The lidar has been developed alongside Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center that is based in Pittsburgh, which explains the first city in which the self-driving service was offered.
Anthony Levandowski, Uber’s vice president of self-driving technology, shared, “The promise of self-driving is core to our mission of reliable transportation, everywhere for everyone. As demand for ridesharing continues to skyrocket, the future of transportation will be a mix of human drivers and self-driving cars.”
The Volvo XC90 is a start, and Uber hopes to include their self-driving technology into another ride in the future -- the Ford Fusion. They are certainly working hard, racing against time to make sure that their self-driving technology will be able to be entrenched in the hearts and minds of many people before other rivals do so. Why not make sure that it gains further mileage as more and more consumers use it, and in turn, gain confidence as well?
Basically if you are in San Francisco, as long as you attempt to hail the more affordable UberX ride, there is a chance that you would see a lovely Volvo XC90 roll up in front of you. This will be preceded by a notification in the Uber app, of course, where you then have the choice of accepting the ride, or canceling it if you are not feeling that adventurous. Fret not, there will be a company engineer who sits behind the Volvo XC90’s wheel as a failsafe mechanism -- reacting and driving you just in case anything goes awry.
A maximum of three passengers are allowed on board the XC90, where you can then spend your time taking selfies and uploading it to your social network to show that you are always on the cutting edge of technology, or take the other route by closing your eyes and hoping that the ordeal will end quickly as your mind wonders why you did not opt for a regular human driver instead.
This is a step in the right direction for Uber when it comes to expanding their autonomous vehicle program, where San Francisco certainly offers a different range of routes as well as terrain when it comes to ferrying passengers around.