December 2016 appeared to be another important period for Uber as the self-driving car company began to offer autonomous rides to San Francisco locals. Thus, the city became the second point on the world map where this technology was offered for general public.
However, this happy moment was too short. The very same day Californian authorities announced these services illegal. It turned out, Uber had to receive a special permission on its self-driving services. Thus, public testing had to be ceased. Of course the news was shocking for Uber that planned to make this campaign one of its milestones that would stand out the company compared to its competitors. San Francisco was meant to become a far bigger testing platform than the company’s self-driving car hub in Pittsburgh.
However, this unlucky scenario seemed to be rather possible as Uber was not listed by the state Department of Motor Vehicles as the company that was allowed to execute autonomous rides, unlike Google, Tesla or GM, for example. Meanwhile, Uber’s spokesman stated that the reason lays in noncompliance of the company’s self-driving vehicles with the definition of a driverless car in Californian regulations.
New partner for greater goals
Anyway, Uber’s top executives are still positive about the company’s future tests. This optimistic vision was also supported by the company’s new deal with Volvo. The introduction of the new XC90 with Uber’s driverless technology installed took place almost at the same period of time. This new self-driving car turned out to be a great example of the autonomous technology equipped with lidar systems for mapping the surrounding objects and environment. The breakthrough is a great milestone for Uber and its Advanced Technologies Center based in Pittsburgh.
The two companies made a deal in August 2016, when Uber decided to buy a hundred of XC90s by the beginning of 2017. The aim was to equip the cars with the driverless technology and make them available for general public tests, since car experts describe this model as a perfect vehicle for the whole family.
Moreover, this deal seems to be extremely promising for both Uber and Volvo taking into account the rush of other self-driving car competitors in the market. Thus, such corporations as Google and Apple announced their readiness to review their autonomous programs and pay attention more to the very self-driving technology, not dealing with car manufacturing at all.
Uber specialists see Volvos as better vehicles for integrating the company’s driverless technology. On Ford Fusions the company managed to build in only 7 cameras sacrificing the idea to install 15 more that were initially planned. Uber’s representatives are happy to announce the reason why Volvo became their new partner is that these cars are safer, according to statistics.