Uber aims to catch up with Google in the production of self-driving cars.
The taxi-service company is on the verge of replacing over one million drivers with computers – which is quite unfortunate for those who make a living from being Uber drivers, thousands of young, middle aged Nigerian men inclusive.
Uber is said to have been working on self-driving cars since 2015.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber revealed that the company is preparing to add self-driving cars to its fleet of active drivers in Pittsburgh as early as this month.
“The company will deploy around 100 modified Volvo XC90s outfitted with self-driving equipment. Each vehicle will be staffed by one engineer, who can take the wheel as/when needed, and a co-pilot to observe and take notes.
“There will also be a “liquid-cooled” computer sitting in the trunk recording trip and map data.”
Customers will make requests from their phones through Uber’s app and will be paired with a driverless car, as is presently being done.
Unlike Google, the company plans to outfit cars with autonomous driving kits rather than develop its own vehicles.
To do that, Uber is in talks with Otto, a promising startup that launched this year to bring self-driving technology to trucks.
Otto’s technology can be fitted to existing trucks, and, according to Bloomberg, the technology will be adapted to create a lidar — laser detection — system to power the newUber vehicles.
The deal is believed to be as good as done and should be sealed this month.
While this development is great for technology, many wonder, what will happen to Uber drivers… and Nigerians ask, how long will it take before this technology lands on our peculiar shores?
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