Categories: Event Articles

Uber showcases the first fleet of Driverless Taxis open to public in Pittsburgh, USA

Uber has been one of those disruptive technology to have emerged in recent times. Thanks to Uber, traditional taxi drivers are taking less money home at the end of the day, while drivers that embraced technology have at least an avenue of earning their daily bread. Of course, the end consumer [commuters] are the ones that are benefiting from all this disruptive technology.

In the words of Mohinder Suresh from NBC’s Drama Series Heroes: “Evolution is an imperfect and often violent process. A battle between what exists, and what is yet to be born. In the midst of these birth pains, morality loses its meaning. The question of good and evil reduced to one simple choice: survive or perish.”

That is exactly how these fleet of self-driving Uber vehicles can be described. Already, Uber has run out traditional taxi drivers out of the market, and they perished. Those that made a decision to survive are now facing a new threat. The self-driving vehicles will make them obsolete and inevitably they will perish.

Driverless taxis will mean the extra charge on fare on the commuters to cover the driver’s pay will be eliminated. Thus, ideally, driverless taxis should charge less fare than a taxi with human drivers. Naturally, passengers will want to spend as less as possible, and the popularity of the driverless Uber taxis over the ones with drivers will be inevitable. Simply put, it will run more drivers out of the taxi industry.

Additionally, there are going to be other benefits such as driverless taxis can work virtually around the clock 24/7. Except when they need to take a break for a mechanical repair, which is something human drivers cannot do; they need rest and time away from work. If When driverless taxis become approved by roads safety and regulations authority; that will be the end of work for drivers making a living in the taxi industry.

About the Driverless Fleet of Cars by Uber

Wednesday, September 14th – Uber invited members of the public and press to take part in an experimental ride inside the cars of the future. Uber effectively became the first company to avail self-driving cars to the general public in the United States through this test program.

The participants were accompanied by human drivers as a backup; just in case machine goes wild and man has to step in. Uber used autonomous Ford Fusions cars in the test program. Passengers said the autonomous cars were able to handle all challenges Pittsburgh’s roads had to throw to them; snowstorms, rolling hills, and even the tangled network of aging roads and bridges.

Uber safety driver Zachary Rearick, left, & vehicle

operator Paul Rocchini take journalists on a drive through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh in a self driving Uber, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. Starting Wednesday morning, Sept. 14, 2016 dozens of self-driving Ford Fusions will pick up riders who opted into a test program with Uber. While the vehicles are loaded with features that allow them to navigate on their own, an Uber engineer will sit in the driver’s seat and seize control if things go awry. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

This test program by Uber goes a long way to show that autonomous cars are well on their way from being a lab program to a real day-to-day means of transportation. The Uber taxis are fitted with high-tech gizmos such as seven traffic-light detecting cameras, radar systems to check on weather conditions, 20 spinning lasers that continuously generate a 360-degree 3D map of the vehicle’s surrounding.

During this test program, two engineers were seated in the front seat; one behind the steering wheel as a backup driver, while the other in the front passenger seat who monitored the feeds from the car’s 3D map and writing down notes on how to improve the software running the car.

A group of self driving Uber vehicles position themselves to take journalists on rides during a media preview at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. Starting Wednesday morning, Sept. 14, 2016 dozens of self-driving Ford Fusions will pick up riders who opted into a test program with Uber. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Uber’s executives were keen on seeing how the autonomous cars handle the notoriously tricky Pittsburgh’s roads before they consider deploying a fully driverless taxi to the streets. That would bring the fare down, hence more people affording to use Uber and use it frequently.

Felix Omondi

Kenyan citizen with a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. In my spare time, I like to blog and read up on trends that's happening around the world.

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