Uber has become the first company to make self-driving cars publicly available in the United States through a test program in Pittsburgh.
The web-based ride service has launched its driverless car service to jump ahead of Detroit auto giants and Silicon Valley rivals with technology that could revolutionise transportation.
A fleet of cars laden with lasers, cameras and other sensors — but no one’s hands on the wheel — was deployed on the roads of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday.
It’s the first time self-driving cars have been so freely available to the US public.
Four of the Ford Fusion hybrids, with their ungainly rooftop load of technology, will be deployed to a select customers, with the company showing at least a dozen more ready to put on the streets.
Companies such as Audi, Nissan and Google have invested hundreds of millions of dollars and logged millions of miles test-driving autonomous vehicles, typically in more ideal locations such as California.
Ford recently announced plans for a fully driverless car for use in ride-hailing and car-sharing programs by 2021.
Many experts predict that it will be years, if not decades, before the public is being driven around in fleets of fully driverless vehicles.