I don't know how I feel about getting into a driverless vehicle
http://www.recode.net/2016/9/14/1291743 ... ivers-cars
As Uber’s robot cars hit the streets in Pittsburgh, the fears of its human drivers have become a reality
"...The ride-hailing Uber customers can now hail a self-driving Uber in Pittsburgh.
Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick predicted in 2014 in an interview at the Code conference that the end of human drivers was eventually going to arrive.
“And when those bad boys are made, look, the way to think about it, the magic of self-driving vehicles, is that the reason Uber [is] expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car, you’re paying for the other dude in the car,” said Kalanick, in a moment of bare-knuckles candor. “And so, when there’s no other dude in the car the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle ... And of course that means safer rides, that means more environmentally friendly, that means a lot of things.”
“Look, this is the way the world is going,” Kalanick said, answering how he might explain it to Uber drivers who might lose their jobs down the road. “The world isn’t always great.”
Two years later those robot cars are now deployed by Uber on the road in Pennsylvania.
It’s still not as futuristic as all that, though. Hailing a self-driving Uber is still a lot like hailing a regular Uber at the moment, although it’s only available to Uber’s most “loyal” customers at first. If a self-driving car is available when one of these customers hails an UberX, they will be greeted by a car with close to two dozen cameras and sensors, along with one engineer and one “safety driver” in the front seats. Customers input their destination, the car drives itself there, with the safety driver only taking over if the system needs it to.
While this is the big and potentially scary moment, to be sure, a lot still has to happen before Uber drivers become completely obsolete. Such as: Self-driving cars have to become legal to drive without a safety driver; users will have to want to get in a self-driving Uber; and, perhaps most importantly, Uber will have to buy and trick out enough cars with self-driving technology to make it worth the investment.
What’s most striking about the effort, though, is that it is probably the first time that Uber will actually own physical assets.
Presumably, if initial efforts work, Uber will continue to buy cars and retrofit them with its own self-driving technology as the company ramps up its fleet of driverless cars. Whether it’s from Volvo or another automaker, Uber will likely have to buy, maintain and insure its own cars...."