UBER TO TEST DRIVERLESS SERVICE IN PITTSBURGH
Residents of Pittsburgh will soon become the first Americans to try out Uber’s self-driving car service. It is a historic moment not just for the ride-hailing company but for robotic cars. Uber has been conducting its driverless-car tests on open roads since May, but the project otherwise has been shrouded in secrecy. The residents’ reactions run the gamut — from hope the new technology will contribute to their city’s story of renewal, to questions about the cars’ performance on Pittsburgh’s complicated road network to concerns about how the vehicles will affect the local economy. But most of all, interviews with city residents reveal a reluctance to trust a technology Uber has kept so close to the chest.
Uber staffs each of its driverless cars with two full-time employees — one to grasp the wheel and another to keep an eye on the computer software. That will not change when the company debuts its driverless service. But not everyone is aware of that. Some believed the cars would be completely empty, which suggests Uber has a lot of educating to do.