Beacon Transcript – The San Francisco streets will witness the introduction of a new type of Uber vehicles, of the self-driving kind as the company will make a step forwards towards autonomous cars.
Uber is not the only contender in the fully autonomous cars race. More companies are collaborating in order to reach such a goal. As such, their area of expertise has become more varied.
The Uber and Volvo partnership could be marked as a varied collaboration. Volvo is a Gothenburg, Sweden-based manufacturing company. It is mostly specialized in the production, sale, and distribution of cars, buses, trucks, and also construction equipment.
Uber is a San Francisco, California-based company. Specialized as an online transportation network company, it has spread and reached a global status.
The company develops, manages, and markets the Uber app. This allows its users to submit trip requests, which will, in turn, be answered by the nearest driver. Uber drivers work with their personal cars.
But this feature may potentially change. Back in August 2016, Uber and Volvo entered into a strategic partnership as they signed on a jointly-owned project.
Their shared target was the creation of a base vehicle. This initial version would then be developed into a fully autonomous or driverless car.
A first step in that direction was taken some three months ago. Back then, the two companies began testing their self-driving vehicles. Initial tests were carried out in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
However, they will now be moved to the San Francisco Streets. Not only that, but the cars will be put to a practical use.
The two companies will release a pilot project which will target self-driving ride sharing options. As such, the San Francisco streets will host the first such ride-hailing service.
All the self-driving rides were produced by Volvo. After being sold to Uber, the latter installed its own software.
Such software packages will be installed alongside the company’s self-driving hardware. This will probably be marked by a control apparatus mounted on the car’s roof.
As these vehicles will roam the San Francisco streets autonomously, they will not be left on their own. To ensure both riders, and traffic safety, an Uber technician will be constantly on board.
They will seek to supervise the ride’s operation. A driver will most likely also be present. They should also be ready to intervene in case of need.
Following the announcement, Uber released a statement on the matter. The company expressed its excitement at initiating such a program on the San Francisco streets.
Besides being their hometown, it will also be the first city to see the release of such Volvo XC90s vehicles. Uber also stated that these are its first cars. They were build during the partnership with the major auto manufacturer.
The company considers that self-driving could become a core element of their mission. Uber is reportedly seeking to ensure reliable transportation means for everybody.
Although self-driving will not become an over-night custom, it is an important step forward.
San Francisco street tests will reportedly offer valuable information. These will be used in order to improve current technology.
Once the cars will hit the streets, customers will be offered such a ride. However, they will be notified in advance and can choose to decline such a vehicle.
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