The rise of self-driving cars in the U.S.

Imagine, if you will, auto technology that could free up commute time or help a parent drive about as they grow older. Well, dream no more: the self-driving car has arrived. In fact, it is predicted that 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2020. Pittsburgh is the first stop in the race to perfect driverless car technology. According to the Associated Press, this month Uber became the first company in the U.S. to make self-driving cars available to the general public. Uber began picking up Pittsburgh passengers in autonomous vehicles equipped with everything from seven traffic-light-detecting cameras to a radar system that detects different weather conditions to 20 spinning lasers that generate a continuous, 360-degree 3-D map of the surrounding environment. Raffi Krikorian, director of Uber Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) in Pittsburgh, the company’s main facility for testing self-driving vehicles, said: “That pilot really pushes the ball forward for us. We think it can help with congestion, we think it can make transportation cheaper and more accessible for the vast majority of people.”

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