A Race to Self-Driving Taxi Has Begun

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Bloomberg, IEEE Spectrum: Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved.

The minute it was clear to us that our friends in [Google] Mountain View were going to be getting in the ride-sharing space, we needed to make sure there is an alternative [self-driving car],” says Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. “Because if there is not, we’re not going to have any business.” Developing an autonomous vehicle, he adds, “is basically existential for us.

Uber’s modified Volvo XC90 SUV.

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