Uber edges ahead in the driverless car race
Uber made a big move on Wednesday when it released its self-driving car to the public for the first time. As part of its pilot program, select Uber users in Pittsburgh will be able to hail and ride in a driverless car.
A number of car companies are aiming to do this, but Uber is ahead. Ford, for example, plans to roll out its first fully autonomous cars for ride-sharing by 2021.
Companies want to get into some sort of ride-hailing service because automakers and tech companies predict that the traditional car ownership model will dwindle with the rise of self-driving cars.
There are predictions, that in the future cars will be fully autonomous and it will become cheaper for consumers to hail a driverless car than to own a personal vehicle.
While auto sales may decline, companies see a huge opportunity in rolling out autonomous cars in a fleet setting to transport people wherever they want to go. But car companies and tech firms will have to catch-up with Uber in building up a ride-sharing network.
Uber has built up one of the largest ride-sharing networks in the world and is the most popular taxi app in 108 countries.
Uber introducing the public to its driverless tech, even it still needs a driver and engineer present at the moment, is a genius way to expose people to the concept of getting picked up in a driverless Uber.
Like other driverless car companies, there is still time before a driverless Uber can be fully autonomous.