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Uber finally brings self-driving taxis on road in the US

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CIOL Writers
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CIOL Uber finally brings self-driving taxis on road in the US

Though nuTonomy defeated Uber to bring first automated taxis on roads, seems like America’s largest cab aggregator is finally ready with its own autonomous taxi fleet.

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After months of road tests on the streets of Pittusburgh, the company has finally announced the official launch of its self-driving pilot program for the residents of ‘Steel City’ in United States. This pilot program, which is second in line after nuTonomy, is a big step forward for the American ride-hailing service.

“This pilot is a big step forward. Real-world testing is critical to the success of this technology. And creating a viable alternative to individual car ownership is important to the future of cities,” said co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick in a statement.

Presently, only some select ‘loyal’ customers will have the chance to hail a self-driving Uber to their destination. If a self-driving Uber is available, the company will send over one would have to suffice with the usual Uber X.

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The San Francisco based company said it would have dozens of self-driving cars on the road by year-end, although the vehicles would still have human “drivers” who sit behind the wheel to intervene if needed.

The public tests become important because self-driving technology isn’t perfect yet and public feedback will definitely help them improve it in the near future.

Though the move is huge feat for the future of transportation, but Kalanick believes, “Even when these technology issues get fixed, we believe ridesharing will be a mix—with services provided by both drivers and Self-Driving Ubers. This is because of the limits of self-driving software and the skyrocketing demand for better transportation.”

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The ride-hailing company has intensified its focus on autonomous technologies in recent months, acquiring Otto, a self-driving truck startup, and partnering with Volvo to develop its next generation of self-driving cars.

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