Uber’s autonomous launch in US

Uber will introduce a fleet of autonomous cars to US city Pittsburgh this week after mayor Bill Peduto said, ‘You can either put up red tape or roll out the red carpet. If you want to be a 21st-century laboratory for technology, you put out the carpet.’

Uber will introduce about 100 Ford Fusions and Volvo SUVs to the city’s streets, all of which will have a human monitor behind the wheel. Customers will have to opt in to the scheme via email.

‘It’s not our role to throw up regulations or limit companies like Uber,’ the mayor added.

However, the experiment has raised a number of concerns with some saying there are no city regulations in place to handle self-driving cars of the implications of a crash.

Bridges are also known to have confused autonomous driving software in the past, and Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other US city.

But Bill Peduto argued, ‘There is no technology that is fail-proof and there is no tech that can guarantee there won’t be accidents, but right now there are 3,287 people who die in automobile-related accidents around the world each day, and there has to be a better way.’

Roger Cohen, policy director for Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation, said, ‘Current law, in its silence, is permitting it by not prohibiting it. You’re not going to have perfection. There is going to be trial and error, and it’s not going to be problem free.