Though we ve known about Uber s autonomous vehicle ambitions, especially considering the opening of its Pittsburgh-based Advanced Technology Center more than a year ago, this is the first time the company has publicly admitted testing these vehicles.
Bares said that Pittsburgh provides a perfect testing ground for Uber s autonomous vehicles because of its snowy and rainy weather, narrow and hilly streets, and outdated infrastructure.
Through a combination of multiple cameras, lasers and sensors, Uber s self-driving cars can see as far as 100 meters in any direction.
Uber is one of a handful of companies, including Google, Lyft, Volvo and Ford, that has joined the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, lobbying to the government to rapidly draft legislation for autonomous vehicle penetration while keeping safety top of mind.
That said, Uber is a relatively new entrant to the space when you remember that Google has been testing its self-driving cars on California streets since 2009.
Bares confirmed that the technology showed off on Wednesday was at an early stage, so don t expect a driverless Uber to pick you up any time soon.