PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In the past year and half, Uber has logged more than a million miles cruising our city’s street in self-driving cars that will soon make the driver just another passenger.
A turret on top of the vehicle takes a million depth readings per second. All of that is fed into a computer in the back and it instantaneously appears on a screen showing all the obstruction and buildings in the car’s path.
When the car is in self-driving mode, the vehicle operator keeps his hands off the wheel, but the car, by virtue of the computer, knows what it’s doing and where it’s going.
For Uber, the ultimate objective is getting something like this off the research track and into your garage.
“Our goals are really to take this technology from the prototype, research and development world and really turn it into a viable product that customers can use every day to get where they’re trying to go to,” Noah Zych, Head of System Safety, said.
That means increasing two things: reliability and affordability.
Making the vehicle reliable means constant testing to make sure the technology is safe while at the same time making it affordable so the technology can be mass produced and fitted into everyday vehicles.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “How far away are we?”
Zych: “That’s the question that everybody wants to know the answer to. I can tell you we’re not there yet today, but we’re certainly working on it and we’re excited to have hit this milestone of a million miles and lots more to come.”