When a ride-hailing company like Uber tries the use of autonomous cars publicly for the first time, one cannot expect that it will be embraced by the people without a second thought. Unless the ride is free, then its users might be interested to try on their debut trips. And that’s what they are exactly doing.
Several tests have been done in the past few months with Uber’s self-driving cars and now it is ready to roll out on the streets and get its first passengers. It will offer free rides for customers, in Pittsburgh at least where Uber’s Advanced technology Center is, who will request their autonomous Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles from the users’ smartphones.
However, the first autonomous Uber trips will have a person in the driver’s seat with their fingertips on the wheel as required by law. That person won’t be alone as well, as he will have a company beside him in the front passenger seat to take notes on a laptop. Regardless, the ride is free.
The public test drive of Uber’s XC90 that will happen this month is just a taste of what lies ahead. Only a few cars will be available for this new system, but Uber has already inked with Volvo to have 100 vehicles by the end of the year.