Just think: Five years ago, nobody ever heard of Uber. The only ride sharing services were taxis. Years later, Uber comes out. Uber starts a social media and app revolution. They’re not done yet. Uber’s self-driving car is almost here.
These cars are specialty made Volvo XC90s. Human drivers will just occupy the driver’s seat and supervise. The experiment will start in Pittsburgh. Later this month, Uber allows customers to choose these self-driving Volvos for service. There’s a reason this experiment is happening in Pittsburgh. It’s home to Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics program. This program helps Google produce self-driving cars. Now they’re helping Uber. That’s not all. In July 2016, Uber acquired Otto. I’m not talking about the Simpsons bus driver. I’m talking about Otto the start up driver less trucking company. Otto has 91 employees, all trying to bring self-driving technology to tech corporations. Otto currently develops big rigs to drive themselves so well drivers can catch up on sleep…while literally on the road! Uber will not produce fleets of self-driving cars. Instead, they’ll work with Volvo to produce self-driving models. Otto will help with lasers and other systems used in self-driving cars. Hailing a self-driving car will be as normal as any other car, even down to the price.
I must tell you, don’t go requesting a self-driving car in your home town. This is just an experiment. This experiment will only be done in Pittsburgh, PA…for now. But if Uber is going to get into the self-driving game, they should do a better job setting themselves apart. They’re starting to do this. They have Otto on their team; the other companies don’t. They’re not producing a fleet. Apple, Google and Tesla are. What I think they should do is invest in self-driving big rig trucks, maybe even put their name on them. I know the 18-wheeler isn’t Uber’s business…yet. But neither is car manufacturing Apple’s business…yet. If I were Uber, I’d work miracles with Otto and cause yet another social media and highway revolution…this time with mack trucks. How will Uber do with self-driving cars?