Robot news

Uber To Roll Out Fleet Of Self-Driving Cars In Pittsburgh

DETROIT (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ride-hailing service Uber says it will start hauling passengers with self-driving cars on the streets of Pittsburgh in next several weeks.

The company says the autonomous Ford Fusions will have human backup drivers but will transport passengers just like normal Uber vehicles.

Uber has a self-driving research lab in Pittsburgh and is working on autonomous technology.

  • John

    I have some doubts about this. Suppose, in an emergency, a self driving car were to find itself having to *choose* between running over an adult male or plowing into a school bus full of five year olds. I would run over the adult and avoid the kids because that’s the lesser of two evils.

    How could a self driving car ever make such a choice? Driving involves a lot more than just avoiding obstacles; in critical situations driving also involves choosing between two or more obstacles in order to minimize injury or death.

    Likewise, suppose you were really screwed on a freeway and had to choose between colliding with a tanker truck full of milk ( clearly identified) and another full of jet fuel, also clearly identified. Obviously you’d much prefer to hit the milk tanker, but how could a self driving car ever make such a decision?

    Some driving choices are philosophical/moral in nature, whereas others imply an intense and well-rounded understanding of context, but machines are very poor at making moral decisions and their understanding of context is even poorer.

    • It’s those damn known unknowns again!

      • Ron MacDonald

        There will always be a person behind the wheel in case of emergency.

        By 2018 the first experimental self-driving transport trucks will hit Canadian highways and, by 2025 buses, transport trucks and taxis will be self-driving saving companies millions in wages.

        The individuals behind the wheels will probably only have to know how to stop the vehicle, pull over to the side of the road and wait for assistance. Transport trucks going to Vancouver would stop at a shipping yard every 8 hours to change drivers and refuel.

        Once self-driving vehicles are the norm drivers will be hired as temporary workers and paid minimum wage.

        • BillyHW

          More Mexicans–joy!

      • John

        That deadly crash last week in Montréal has been put down to a truck’s automated braking system that kicked in when it wasn’t supposed to. It caused a pile-up

    • BillyHW

      What if the taxi had to choose between running down a black male, or a white male? Hmmmmm…

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        Who gets to decide that code?

      • John

        Or UBER could just use the “jihadist program”, the one that runs over everybody.

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      I don’t believe they can make a self driving vehicle that can handle winter.

  • Dana Garcia

    In other robo-car news today, Ford announced it would have self-driving cars by 2021, something BMW promised a month ago.

    In the last little while, the big auto companies decided that self-driving was about to become a thing and didn’t want to be left in the dust by the tech nerds in Silicon Valley.

    • BillyHW

      More rape.