Have you ever wished that the cruise control on your car was actually autopilot? (It’s NOT, please don’t use it like it is). Well, get ready, world, those self-driving cars of sci-fi legends may be closer to reality than we thought. This week, Uber has begun real-world testing of self-driving cars on the streets of Pittsburgh. Yes, that’s right, as in cars that drive themselves. Crazy, right?
Uber has outfitted a Ford Fusion Hybrid with hi-res cameras, radars, laser scanners and other high-tech gadgets to collect mapping data and test its self-driving capabilities on the road. The car is currently monitored by a human driver but should eventually be reliable enough to drive without supervision (oh boy!). A car like this has been in the works for many big companies (Google, Lyft) for a while, but Uber is the first ride-sharing company to reach the testing stage of self-driving technology.
While this does seem like a cool concept in theory, people are less than thrilled with the idea of giving up control of the wheel. A recent University of Michigan study showed that only 10 percent of the population would be unconcerned with riding in a fully autonomous car. So it would appear that most of the population is wary of leaving a machine to call the shots on the road and we can’t blame them. There are some things that will be weird no matter how far technology advances and nodding off in the driver’s seat is definitely one of them.
For now, it’s still just a concept of the future. Uber is just in the preliminary stages of testing, but they still want you to get hyped now for the potential a driverless car holds. And, just think, no driver means no awkward conversation about the weather or traffic and no more confusion about how much/if you should tip.
The big question now: when do we get flying cars?