Uber to test self-driving cars in Pittsburgh

Real world tests will take Uber's autonomous car research to the next level

Uber will begin real-world tests of self-driving car technology in the coming weeks, putting a custom Ford Fusion onto the streets of Pittsburgh.

The car will drive around the city collecting mapping data and testing out its self-driving technology, Uber said in a blog post.

Accurate mapping data is crucial for self-driving cars because the cars themselves don't have the ability and sophistication to figure out their precise location unaided. They scan the surroundings and match that to a preexisting database of the city to determine how to proceed.

The tests will be one of the most visible signs of the research and development going on at the company's Advanced Technologies Center, a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University that was announced in 2015.

Research at the center is still in its early days, but the company's goal is to take the technology to a level where it could be used in a commercial transportation service. That's quite a goal.

Earlier this year, Uber announced an expansion to a new research facility in Pittsburgh to allow for the construction of temporary roadways. On private testing areas, cars can be challenged with situations that would be dangerous on public streets, but it's difficult to generate the unpredictable nature of streets in a major city.

For now, the trials will look at how the initial software and systems cope with a real city. A researcher will be behind the wheel at all times, ready to take over from the car's computer should things appear that they are going wrong -- that's not just a safety move but also the law.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags automotive ITUber

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?