Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - GPS -

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.

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