Tags: uber | self driving | cars | robotics research facility

Uber Self-Driving Cars Are Closer to Reality With New Robotics Facility

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 09:37 AM

Uber announced this week its plans to open a robotics research facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to research and develop a fleet of self-driving cars.

According to TechCrunch, sources confirmed Uber is hiring more than 50 scientists from Carnegie Mellon University and the National Robotics Engineering Center for the project.

"In the past, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has said he would replace human drivers with self-driving cars," TechCrunch reported. "The decision to run the facility in Pittsburgh makes perfect sense, given the proximity to CMU and the potential secrecy afforded by moving research out of Silicon Valley."

The Uber and Carnegie Mellon University partnership, called the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, "will focus on the development of long-term technologies that advance Uber’s mission of bringing safe, reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere," according on a statement on the company's website.

"As a global leader in urban transportation, we have the unique opportunity to invest in leading edge technologies to enable the safe and efficient movement of people and things at giant scale," Jeff Holden, Uber's chief product officer, said in a statement. "This collaboration and the creation of the Uber Advanced Technologies Center represent an important investment in building for the long term of Uber."

The announcement stated that the company would also fund faculty chairs and fellowships to attract top researchers and graduate students to the project.

"Uber is a rapidly growing company known for its innovative technology that is radically improving access to transportation for millions of global citizens," Andrew Moore, Carnegie Mellon's dean of the School of Computer Science, said in a statement.

"CMU is renowned for innovations that transform lives. We look forward to partnering with Uber as they build out the Advanced Technologies Center and to working together on real-world applications, which offer very interesting new challenges at the intersections of technology, mobility, and human interactions," Moore continued.

Google has been the driverless car leader with its Self-Driving Car Project, releasing videos of its first test drives of its automated vehicles last May.

"We're now exploring what fully self-driving vehicles would look like by building some prototypes; they'll be designed to operate safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention," Chris Urmson, director of Google's Self-Driving Car Project, said. "They won't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal . . . because they don't need them. Our software and sensors do all the work."

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Uber announced this week its plans to open a robotics research facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to research and develop a fleet of self-driving cars.
uber, self driving, cars, robotics research facility
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2015-37-03
Tuesday, 03 Feb 2015 09:37 AM
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