Category Archives: Uber

Your next Uber ride could be in a self-driving car

Take a ride through the streets of San Francisco today, and you may encounter something surprising – Uber’s new self-driving cars navigating through traffic. Uber, the popular low-cost car service app, has debuted a small fleet of self-driving cars that are causing controversy with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Officials are concerned about the safety of self-driving car technology, which has been developed over the past decade by major tech companies including Google and Tesla. According to a statement released by the DMV, Uber failed to obtain the permits needed to test self-driving cars on city streets. The company obliquely criticized the state DMV by claiming the regulations regarding permits were slowing innovation. The company’s point of contention is that a driver and an engineer are present in the front seat of the car at all times and are monitoring the vehicle, and can manually operate it if the car encounters a situation that requires human intervention. Uber contends that since their cars are not “driverless,” the company should be exempted from the California restrictions on testing self-driving cars. The San Francisco Uber blog states, “…the rules apply to cars that can drive without someone controlling or monitoring them. For us, it’s still early days and our cars are not yet ready to drive without a person monitoring them.” After a successful test of self-driving Uber vehicles in Pittsburgh, Uber hopes to advance this new technology in San Francisco and beyond.