Taxi-hailing service Uber has announced that passengers in its hometown can now use its app to summon a ride in a car that can drives itself.
The ride sharing firm is bringing a small number of self-driving car to its ride-hailing service in San Francisco, a
move likely to excite the city’s tech-savvy population and certain to antagonize California regulators.
The self driven car technology will ensure that a Uber employee behind the wheel to take over should the technology fail. According to Uber, Users of the App may be matched with a self-driving car, but can opt out if they prefer a human driver. They are to pay the same cost as ordinary rides
Uber believes the self-driven car technology is ready to handle all the risks involved during the ride safely though its executives concede the vehicles are nowhere near able to drive without a human ready to take control in dicey situations.
Uber’s self-driving car tests in San Francisco will begin with a “handful” of Volvo luxury SUVs—the company wouldn’t release an exact number—that have been tricked out with sensors so they can steer, accelerate and brake, and even decide to change lanes.
Once testing is complete, the ultimate vision is to sell to the public technology which supporters argue will save thousands of lives because it doesn’t drink, text, fall asleep or take dangerous risks.