The news appeared on Bloomberg first. “Uber’s First Self-Driving Fleet Arrives in Pittsburgh This Month” is the title, and I read avidly as my mind was triggering hundreds of questions… many of which went un-answered by the article. Questions like “Why, why does Uber want to replace more than 1 million human drivers with robot drivers?” (and I would like a better answer than “because we can”).
In a race with Google cars, Uber decided to take science to the streets and experiment in 100 modified Volvo XC90s. It is said that Uber’s Pittsburgh experimental fleet will be supervised by humans in the driver’s seat (just in case, you know, and to “measure stuff”), and passengers willing to jump in will be taking the ride for free. They won’t be able to talk to scientists though… a computer will informed them what’s going on.
I can’t see it happening in a city with crazy traffic (like Buenos Aires, where I come from), and I wouldn’t be happily willing to jump on this experiment with so little information. Would you? Are you heading to Pittsburgh to find out?