Uber launched a line of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, making it the first city in the United States where people can flag down a self-driving automobile.
Uber was first introduced to Pittsburgh in 2015, with its primary interest lying in Carnegie Mellon University’s acclaimed Robotics Institute. With Carnegie Mellon robotic students aiming for the creation of autonomous vehicles, the Silicon Valley employees placed greater interest in the area. The school’s aptitude for technology has also lured General Motors, Google and Intel into the area.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, formed a successful relationship with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who proposed the suggestion for independent cars in Pittsburgh. Peduto went on to advise President Barack Obama at a National League of Cities conference to fund driverless cars and to declare Pittsburgh a central location for trials to occur. Pittsburgh’s terrain of difficult parkways and environmental settings is also irresistible to auto manufacturers for practice tests.
Pittsburgh is expected to flourish as it is now situated in the limelight of this innovative operation. Analysts and inventors will be drawn to work in this city for major technology companies and enterprisers to make their homes here. Other states, like California and Michigan, have also expressed interest in adapting driverless cars. If Uber’s autonomous cars become successful, more states may follow suit.
Engineers, however, should not be so quick to install self-driving cars. There are dangers still looming and missing pieces that are unresolved. Car accidents remain one of the biggest concerns regarding these innovations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a deadly accident in June involving a self-driving Tesla. GPS and electrical devices are not cheap, making repairs even more expensive.
In the event of a car crash, it is unclear who would be held responsible. Insurance companies seem to be undecided about this topic, with insurance price policies still in question. We often see drivers on their phones, eating or applying makeup. If they are in a programmed car, these habits may grow. Problems regarding regulation, governmental interference and administration are also foggy.
Under these new testing regulations, however, positive changes will also occur. Creators will be able to find jobs in the numerous research facilities that occupy the city. It is awe-inspiring to see new changes and what people are capable of inventing. Regardless, while it is remarkable to see these groundbreaking cars develop, the safety of the passengers should always be the top priority.