Uber is all set to launch self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, starting today. This novelty emerged as a consequence of one and a half year research by Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics center researchers. Raffi Krikorian, director of Uber ATC, stated his anticipation as “How do drivers in cars next to us react to us? How do passengers who get into the backseat who are experiencing our hardware and software fully experience it for the first time, and what does that really mean?”.
The Volvos dispatched by Uber as autonomous cars appear as a normal and regular vehicle. The most notable difference being the series of sensors on the roof of the car and sides. Along with the integrated sensors, additional intelligence is provided by cameras and GPS system.
The vehicle is designed to spot people, potholes, other hurdles and hence retaliate smartly, but this is something expected by self-driving cars, the actual challenge for Uber is the unexpected for example human drivers can make eye contact with other drivers and hence decide about the overtaking, however that is an expectation yet to achieve by Uber. According to Aaron Steinfeld, a Carnegie Mellon University researcher, Uber creates maps of roads in its system during the journey and this is completely normal for the real-time apprehension of variables like pedestrians.
The company plans to switch to one ride-along engineer within the next six months. Eventually, the final engineer could be replaced by a remote help center; when a car encounters a foreign situation, it contacts a human in the center for help. Uber is also researching how to prevent accidental gridlock situations and how cars should behave when there are many pedestrians in the street.
Steinfeld understands that conventionally self-driven cars will make people a tad bit nervous but these cars will become familiar with the passage of time and hence accept this new reign of technology.