Uber’s first self-driving car prototype has been seen driving around the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The prototype initially spotted by Pittsburgh Times, is a modified Ford Fusion with the words “Uber” and “Advanced Technologies Center” emblazoned on the sides. The news is in line with earlier reports when Uber announced in February that it’ll open a research facility in Pittsburgh to develop and research on self-driving cars.
“This vehicle is part of our early research efforts regarding mapping, safety and autonomy systems,” Uber said in a statement. If the company’s research efforts turn out as planned, we might see the humans being phased out by these self-driving cars.
The prototype spotted looked much like the one from Apple spotted earlier in the streets of San Francisco back in February, had a bunch of sensors and multiple cameras mounted on the roof.
The company officially confirmed to the Pittsburg Business Times that the car is indeed a part of its “early research efforts regarding mapping, safety and autonomy systems.”
Uber had earlier announced that it had joined hands with Carnegie Mellon University for manufacturing and research of these autonomous driving vehicles. The company CEO Travis Kalanick has been rather vocal in expressing his desire to bring autonomous taxis to its fleet, negating the human element and cut down on costs.
The concept of autonomous driving cars is certainly one of the hot avenues for research and development currently, as companies now seem to be digging even deeper into the whole idea of autonomous cars. Google recently announced that its self-driving prototypes will hit streets of Mountain View, California this summer. While Nissan and NASA earlier announced a partnership that would see the two researching and developing on autonomous cars. Even German automobile behemoth Audi is planning to bring its piloted driving system in its next-gen A8.