The first self-driving Uber cars are on Pittsburghs’ roads. Now, every casual user is able to experience the future. This whole new system is currently in a real-world testing phase, so the cars are not “left completely alone” yet. They are sent with a safety driver who controls the process and is able to change the autonomous mode to manual if it’s necessary.
For now, the main problem relates to the unpredictable incidents happening on the roads on a daily basis. A robot is obviously not able to make eye contact with other drivers and influence its decision based on the outcome. On the other hand, it boasts a 360-degree image of the cars surrounding, which is more than any human driver can dream about when using standard car mirrors.
There is plenty of potential for this technology. In the future, it might not only reduce the number of car accidents and traffic jams but it also may free up as much as 20 percent of the parking space available in cities, not to mention the new work opportunities it is going to create.
This experiment, currently limited to a single city, may soon become our reality, in which we sit behind the wheel without a need to touch it at all.