Despite the doubts that can generate the use of a car autonomous driving, almost the entire industry seems to bet on this type of vehicle. Before we can buy a car of this kind, we will test while providing a taxi service or passenger transporter.
Delphi, tested throughout 2017 a small fleet in Singapore autonomous cars. But Über and Volvo will be faster and will launch in less than four months one fleet of 100 Volvo XC90 hybrid autonomous driving in the city of Pittsburgh.
Über own technology
This agreement, involving a joint investment of 300 million dollars, will allow users Über Pittsburgh to travel in a car autonomous driving. As in Delphi test in Singapore, p or security issues will be a driver early to oversee operations.
Über buy the XC90 plug-in hybrid Volvo, but modify the cars to install your own system of autonomous driving (both hardware and software) specially adapted for the company. Recall that less than two years ago Über opened a technology center in the city of Pittsburgh to develop autonomous driving.
In Pittsburgh, customers ask for a car via the Uber app on your mobile, as before, and will play them randomly or not an autonomous car. In that case, the trip will be free, rather than cost them $ 1.30 per mile (the usual fare in Pittsburgh). Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, this will bring down prices so that eventually even a long journey in a self Über be cheaper than doing it with your own car.
“You can see it as a threat,” said the president of Volvo, Hakan Samuelsson to Automotive News. “We see it as an opportunity.” But the reality is that long term itself would pose a threat to all drivers, including those of Über. In the short and medium term it will not be a problem as autonomous cars still have serious difficulty functioning with adverse weather (rain, snow), because their systems are not able to properly read or see the road lanes. And in Pittsburgh, winter, snowfall is heavy.
It’s just the beginning
For Sherif Marakby, head of technical development at Über (after being responsible for 25 years of engineering and global connectivity in Ford), the agreement with Volvo is not exclusive and do not rule out working with other manufacturers. In fact, the other manufacturer would be Daimler, which would charge 2020 Über manufacture 100,000 units of Mercedes S Class in a variant of autonomous driving.
But Marakby goes further and explains that “there is a significant part of the population that would be open to sharing a ride in a car without a driver.” Come on, that the goal is to create a fleet of fully autonomous and shared autonomous cars. It is a very rational and idealized what should be the automotive vision, but ultimately does not have to be.