You can already order an Uber with Alexa, but what if the Uber that comes to pick you up drives itself? This isn’t just some theoretical idea that’s going to happen at some point in the future. It’s a very real reality, at least for the people of Pittsburgh starting later this month. And the rides will be free to boot.

Okay. “Later this month” is still “some point in the future,” but it’s not that far into the future. The hugely popular ride-sharing company is slowly working on removing the human element from the transaction altogether. Later on this summer, if you summon an Uber to pick you up in Pittsburgh, you may be greeted by a Volvo XC90. But this is no ordinary SUV. It’s a self-driving SUV.

Ford wants ride-sharing, self-driving cars to be ready for primetime by 2021, but this is going to be the first time you’ll actually have a self-driving car pick you up and drive you around under the Uber banner. Before you get all excited about all that alone time you’ll have in the car, know that this is still a test. As such, there will still be someone behind the wheel (in case they need to take over on at a moment’s notice), plus another guy in the passenger seat taking notes on a laptop.

Get Free Uber Rides in Self-Driving Cars Later This Summer

So, you won’t exactly be alone. A couple of Uber engineers will be riding along with you… but you’re not exactly encouraged to chat them up like how you would a normal (human) Uber driver. They’re placing a tablet in the back seat to let you know what is going on so that you don’t bug those two highly-paid engineers in the front seats.

Both Uber and Lyft have been testing self-driving cars on their own, but now they’re inviting customers and passengers along for the ride. And no, you can’t specially request one of the self-driving cars to pick you up for a free ride to your yoga class; the free Uber rides will be awarded randomly.


Via Bloomberg

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