Uber, the ride sharing company, will now allow customers to hail self-driving cars.
Uber to Launch Self-Driving Cars in Partnership With Volvo
In a statement, Uber said the launch would happen in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The firm also confirmed that it would be partnering with Volvo.
In a report by Bloomberg, the self-driving cars would first be under the supervision of a driver who can take control if need arises.
Uber first announced its plans for a self-driving car two years ago.
To date, over one million people drive cars connected to the Uber app, but these drivers are not Uber employees.
Free for now
Speaking to the BBC, an Uber spokesperson said, “Later this month, Uber users in Pittsburgh will be able to hail self-driving cars using their phone. This will mark an important milestone that has not yet been achieved by others in the tech or auto industries.”
Customers will continue to request cars in the usual way using the Uber app but will be paired with a driverless vehicle. For the time being, the ride will be free instead of the usual rate of $1.30 in the Pittsburg area.
She further indicated that Volvo had provided several XC90 sports utility cars with sensors to Uber to be used in the project’s initial trials. It is expected that up to 100 such will be delivered to Uber by the end of the year.
Previously, Uber had utilized Ford Fusions for the initial testing of self-driving cars.
In a statement, Volvo confirmed that it was indeed undertaking a joint project with the ride-sharing company.
The firm said, “Uber and Volvo will use the same base vehicle for the upcoming two stages of the autonomous car project.”
Volvo added, “This project will entail Uber bringing its own self-driving technology to the basic Volvo vehicle.”
Engineers from both firms will work together on the project, according to the firm.