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Uber Plays

As the rest of us were nursing a Christmas-turkey-induced-cranberry-sauce-stained-hangover on 26th December, Uber was out making some big boy power plays. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Uber acquired a 600-acre land to test their brand new self-driving car technology.

Help me up, hooman. I can’t move. Image source:

The USD 9.5 million, 2.5 square kilometer track can be serviced by up to 200 people at capacity and includes an observation deck.

Uber has been trying to sink their claws into the beating heart of the future; autonomous-driving.

Eh car, tapau Maggi mee for me on the way home. Please? Image source:

Rocky Roads

With industry giants like Tesla and Ford looming tall over the rest of the competition, Uber has come back into the fray with a vengeance.

After the tragic fatal accident in Arizona more than 9 months ago, the program’s on-site testing came to a grinding halt.

Uber spokesperson Sarah Abboud told the Pittsburgh Business Times that exact dates of when the track will be fully operational have yet to be determined. However, she assured that more details will be available in the upcoming months.

Initially, Uber considered setting up a 400-acre test site in the township of South Fayette at Pittsburgh. But, a better option in Findlay Township allowed them to secure the current 600-acre expanse instead.

Uber-bots, roll out! Image source:

Always aiming higher than ever, Uber straight up developed a ‘fake city’ so they can safely test the upper boundaries of their technology.

How will the technology be like?

In June, Uber unveiled a new autonomous-driving car model that they developed with Volvo.

The XC90 SUV base vehicle is the best choice to be paired with Uber’s self-driving system as Volvo boasts the most immaculate safety features for commercial use.

The XC90 is a sexy beast! Image source:

Volvo’s autonomous drive-ready vehicle features several back-up systems for both steering and braking functions as well as battery generated back-up power.

The fail-safes are designed to bring the car to a stop in case any primary system malfunctions occur.

Extremely sensitive sensors are integrated into the vehicle to enable the highest order of precision and telemetry as well as to ensure safety and maneuverability in an urban environment.

Are Uber-bots taking over?

The implementation of self-driving capabilities will definitely have a massive impact on the future of travel, logistics, and the systems and infrastructures needed to facilitate security parameters.

Automation brings into question certain long term feasibility and economic implications, such as how autonomous driving will affect human personnel within the industry.

What other major banes or boons do you suspect will emerge as a result of driverless technology?

For the TL;DR, do check out our Monday Logins with Michelle where we report on the latest tech news every Monday.