First Look At Uber's Self-Driving Car

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How about some good Uber news for a change? The company has unleashed its self-driving test car in Pittsburgh to do some real-world testing. For now there will be a human behind the wheel (just in case) of the hybrid Ford Fusion but that will change in the future. Who knows, maybe Uber will be replacing its human drivers sooner than we thought. ;)

The car, a hybrid Ford Fusion, will be collecting mapping data as well as testing its self-driving capabilities. When it’s in self-driving mode, a trained driver will be in the driver’s seat monitoring operations. The Uber ATC car comes outfitted with a variety of sensors including radars, laser scanners, and high resolution cameras to map details of the environment.
 

Yakk

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Humans are soooooo last year.

Only thing we still need humans for is to buy & pay.
 

mcravenufo

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I think all the news about self driving cars is exciting. If the technology and testing are not hindered I see myself riding in a self driving car in several decades.
 

Gigus Fire

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the equipment on top looks like either a missile launcher or a 80's boom box setup. Can't decide.
 

ymer

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Self-driving cars are a pipe dream, it's way too complicated to be viable in the urban jungle.
 

Quix

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Self-driving cars are a pipe dream, it's way too complicated to be viable in the urban jungle.
It's just a matter of when, not if. Volvo was working on self-driving technology 20 years ago before they shelved the project. Even if all the self-driving systems fail today someone will pick it up later and eventually someone will succeed.
 

Dwango

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Self-driving cars are a pipe dream, it's way too complicated to be viable in the urban jungle.
I would trust the computer in a self driving car a lot more than 90% of the brain dead idiots that manage to stumble half-drunk into the DMV and somehow come out with a valid license.
 

spugm1r3

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Question, how does Uber intend to keep people from stiffing their driverless cars?
 

Lakados

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Question, how does Uber intend to keep people from stiffing their driverless cars?
Probably just require you to keep a credit card on file where then then bill you automatically based on the pick up location and drop off location verified by the cars GPS to confirm the route it took. Then if you have any complaints about the automatic charge you can email somebody in India who doesn't speak enough English to properly address the issue but just enough to make you dance like an angry puppet.
 

nutzo

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I would trust the computer in a self driving car a lot more than 90% of the brain dead idiots that manage to stumble half-drunk into the DMV and somehow come out with a valid license.
This.

I just hope they have self driving cars by the time I hit retirement so I never have to worry about being too old to drive.
Also, this would eliminate a lot of the shorter flights. Why fly when you can just take a nap and wake up at your destination the next morning.
 

Exavior

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Am I the only one thinking why? Legally self driving cars have to have a driver behind the wheel even if not doing anything. So it doesn't save them money in not paying a person. The cars cost more so they are losing money there. And I don't think there is much reason to use this to get press as people know about uber and don't need to convince people to use the service.

if you could have a completely unmanned car I could understand, but at this point in that technology and laws it makes no sense
 

LatexRat

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I just really wish all the companies would work on a standard together instead of everyone independently developing their own. The chance of a mistake made by two systems reacting to a situation differently goes way up. It would also facilitate communication between cars more easily... making things even safer. Hopefully we won't have to choose our cars based on the solution that has killed fewer people. This whole exclusivity mindset in our society holds back AI and tech in general.
 

Exavior

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I just really wish all the companies would work on a standard together instead of everyone independently developing their own. The chance of a mistake made by two systems reacting to a situation differently goes way up. It would also facilitate communication between cars more easily... making things even safer. Hopefully we won't have to choose our cars based on the solution that has killed fewer people. This whole exclusivity mindset in our society holds back AI and tech in general.
yes and no. At the same time different people making different systems can give us different features. At some point would be nice for them to all work together. But to start, if one person makes one type of system and somebody else makes up a completely different system, it gives more options for the future to mix and match to get the "perfect" system.
 

tybert7

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the equipment on top looks like either a missile launcher or a 80's boom box setup. Can't decide.
It definitely looks like a missile launcher, as soon as the robots are loaded into the car, uber will flip a switch and have them fire on all the human uber drivers and get rid of all higher payouts, prices overall will dramatically decrease as they no longer need to pay people.
 

spugm1r3

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I have, and every time we've swiped a card when we arrived at our destination. But perhaps that is not the norm.
 

Exavior

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I have, and every time we've swiped a card when we arrived at our destination. But perhaps that is not the norm.
That is an option? I personally have only used Uber a few times as part of a group as it isn't available in the middle of a field where I am, but every time I have seen it used the card tied to the app was used. I actually thought that was the only option that could be used and is the only way I have ever seen it used by anyone.
 

Jagger100

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Am I the only one thinking why? Legally self driving cars have to have a driver behind the wheel even if not doing anything. So it doesn't save them money in not paying a person. The cars cost more so they are losing money there. And I don't think there is much reason to use this to get press as people know about uber and don't need to convince people to use the service.

if you could have a completely unmanned car I could understand, but at this point in that technology and laws it makes no sense
I could imagine the passenger takes that roll. This means it would only be open to people with driver's licenses, ironically. In that case its not so much a ride share as a car share program. How the car gets to you would still be problem. Park & Share locations, I guess.

OTOH, you're assuming politicians aren't saying no, so they can get bribed into saying yes.
 

Ocellaris

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I just really wish all the companies would work on a standard together instead of everyone independently developing their own. The chance of a mistake made by two systems reacting to a situation differently goes way up. It would also facilitate communication between cars more easily... making things even safer. Hopefully we won't have to choose our cars based on the solution that has killed fewer people. This whole exclusivity mindset in our society holds back AI and tech in general.
Often innovation happens quickest when companies or countries are competing against each other. When everyone works together on common solution, decisions become harder to reach and more distilled.
 

Exavior

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I could imagine the passenger takes that roll. This means it would only be open to people with driver's licenses, ironically. In that case its not so much a ride share as a car share program. How the car gets to you would still be problem. Park & Share locations, I guess.

OTOH, you're assuming politicians aren't saying no, so they can get bribed into saying yes.
And I could see that be a better idea for a park and share service of which there are a few of those out there.... or at least there was I don't know how many actually still exist. I live in the middle of bumfuck nowhere. So I only know about these types of services as I hear people talk about them. I have only used Uber myself once while in Austin last year and totaled my car while there so needed a way to get to a rental car place to get back home from my vacation.

My guess is that outside of people using Uber on travel, most that use it on a regular basis don't have a valid license or is handicap, others might be using the service while drunk and not legally able to be behind the wheel.
 

Ocellaris

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My guess is that outside of people using Uber on travel, most that use it on a regular basis don't have a valid license or is handicap, others might be using the service while drunk and not legally able to be behind the wheel.
People also use it a lot because it's cheaper than parking + tolls in many cities.
 

Exavior

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People also use it a lot because it's cheaper than parking in many cities.
I don't disagree with that at all. but how many of those people have license for that exact same reason? Lets pick say NYC. My guess is that most people either got around by subway or taxi, and few owned / own a car. Now add in Uber. So somebody that was born in NYC and lived their all their life may not have a driver's license to be able to drive that Uber as they never had a reason to get a license due to never driving and having grown up with public transportation.
 

tazeat

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If I'm using Uber it's because I'm:

A) too drunk to drive

Or

B) not really too drunk to drive, but wouldn't want to risk getting pulled over anyway
 
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