There’s A Reason These New Ubers Look So Bizarre

Photo: Courtesy Uber.
If you live in Pittsburgh, or you're there visiting, your next Uber ride could look — and feel — very different. The cars themselves are white, with a series of front-side, and rear-facing cameras mounted on top. Another camera above takes a 360-degree three-dimensional scan of the outside world, while trunk and roof antennae capture GPS data. The cars look like bizarre, futuristic props from a sci-fi movie. Which is fitting, since they sort of are. These cars are part of Uber's first fleet of self-driving vehicles, which Uber has been working to bring to streets since it established an Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh roughly a year and a half ago. Now, riders who select an UberX could be greeted with a look into the not-so-distant future. For now, Uber says that each car will have a safety driver in front to oversee the drive and intervene in unsafe weather or other unforeseen conditions. Of course, Uber isn't the only tech company experimenting with driverless vehicles: Google and Tesla have both been working on their own versions. But Uber makes the entry point for us humans a little easier, since you don't have to commit to buying the car. You can just request a ride to try it out — much lower risk. But the more important question here is: Does this mean you'll finally get a perfect, five-star rating?
Photo: Courtesy Uber.

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