Uber’s self-driving cars are operating on Pittsburgh streets, so it’s only natural they’d pick up some professional athletes along the way. Defensive ends Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt likely max out the passenger capacity of the back of that Uber-tech equipped Ford Fusion that picks them up, but they do manage to get in and take the trip.
My favorite moment here might be when Tuitt basically says what every person contemplating a first ride in one of these is thinking before they actually get picked up by the car.
The video has some solid explanatory sections that cover its LiDAR capabilities, laying the basics of that tech pretty clearly. It also might be the closest non-Pittsburgh residents get to being able to take a ride inside one for a while.
Uber’s doing its self-driving trials in Pittsburgh because that’s where its robotics facility is located. The ride-hailing company took most of its self-driving vehicle engineering department from nearby Carnegie Mellon University, so it makes sense that it would choose the city to host its Advanced Technologies Center, and to kick off its initial driverless trials.
Testing defensive end load-bearing capabilities might not be absolutely crucial to achieving a wider rollout, but it will help Uber humanize the tech, which is bound to make others like Tuitt “nervous” at first.