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The dream of Mr. Travis Kalanick, who is the Uber’s co-founder and the chief executive officer, is to introduce the self-driving car in the uber history. To fulfill his wish, he went to Pittsburgh to hire the most talented people and experts in the automobile industry. This city has the most popular and well known, Carnegie Mellon University for Robotics. This university has produced the most talented and successful scientists in the automobile and robotics field. Mr. Sebastian Thrun, who was the founder of Google’s self driving cars, did his research at the Carnegie Mellon University for seven years. The former director of Google’s self driving car project was also the alumni of CMU.
Mr. John Bares, recently joined uber in 2015. Previously, he was running the CMU’s national robotics engineering center for the period of thirteen years. Later, he started his own Carnegie Robotics, which supplies the parts for the making of robots, which were intended to help in farming, mining and military. At last, he joined Uber in 2015. In the early 2016, he hired many talented engineers, experts and even some mechanics, to help them in developing the autonomous cars. The ultimate aim behind these steps is to develop the autonomous cars as soon as possible.
Some of the experts in the industry said that, this is some kind of attitude, to encourage risks, and it may lead to any kind of results, they can be positive or negative. And some feel that the concept of autonomous taxi is possible only after some years. For these suggestions of the experts, Travis told that, the autonomous taxies were planned for the commercial aspect.
In later of this month, uber is going to reach the milestone, which none of the leading industries have not attempted so far. Google is the topmost in this field, and it has been running its test drive for the past seven years. Tesla Motors provide Uber an autopilot, which helps the autonomous vehicle, to drive safely on the highways. Ford has announced its autonomous taxi project. Except the Ford none of the companies has attempted to do so.
At the beginning, the self-driving taxies will be supervised by the person in the driver seat, if any goes wrong, then that person will control it. The driverless car is equipped with Volvo XC90 engines. They also have many sensors, cameras, lasers, radars and Global Positioning System. Uber and Volvo have signed an agreement to spend $300 million for improving the self-driving car technology. They have ensured that the complete driverless taxi will hit the roads by 2021. Uber has signed the agreement with the other automobile companies also; this agreement was signed to hire more engineers for this project. Uber has also signed an agreement to own Otto, a trucking automobile company, which has only 91 employees. Uber spent $680 million; the Otto employees will receive 20% of the profit. And it also plans to hire people from the leading companies such as, Google, Tesla and Apple. Uber is going to earn from the trucking company also.
The 91 employee company Otto, has developed a kit for the big-rig trucks, which helps the trucks to steer themselves in the highways, without the help of a driver. They have tested and implemented this concept in San Francisco, and this attempt was successful in San Francisco. Uber has planned to implement this concept in San Francisco and also in the US. This type of raid is going to offer services only in the cities within the US and San Francisco.
Uber has got a special power from the Otto’s kit, which helps uber to cope up with the Google’s competition. Google aims to produce the self -driving car of its own. The founders of the Otto were the former key members of the Google’s self-driving car project. They came out of Google because they wanted to produce the self-driving cars soon.
Anthony Levandowski, the co-founder of Otto, was the engineer at the Google’s self driving cars; he started the company along with Mr.Lior Ron, who was the head of Google maps for the five years, Claire Delaunay, who was the Google’s robotics lead and Don Brunette who was the engineer at Google. Google was unhappy because many people have left the company, and started the new one called Otto.
Many people feel that they have an alternative for the ordinary taxi driving mechanism, and some fear whether this will work well or not. The co-founder of Uber feels happy because people consider this as the alternative, if there is no positive feedback from them, they will have no business. Uber doesn’t aim to produce new self-driving vehicles from its own, like Google and Tesla. It aims to modify the existing vehicles with the help of some kits, and change them as the self-driving cars. Otto’s kit will help Uber in this concept as well as in the project. The company develops its own lasers and sensors, which are used in the other self-driving car companies. None of the companies are developing software, which will help to drive a car safely in the absence of the driver. Uber is working on it, says the co-founder of Uber.
The accident happened because of the tractor driver and the self-driving car’s computer did not see each other. Travis promises that such a case will not happen in Uber. Google has faced many accidents since its beginning, but they did not harm anyone. People have been requesting a car through the Uber app, the normal cars will be paired up with the self-driving cars, and the raid is offered for the free of cost at the beginning. The cost of the self-driving car is cheaper than the normal cars. In July, Tesla’s self-driving car and a tractor hit each other and met with an accident. Uber tries to avoid such accidents also. But sometimes anything may go wrong. Uber frequently checks the reality, and tries to avoid it in their self-driving taxi.
In the beginning Uber’s self-driving cars are sent along with the drivers. If anything went wrong, then they can control it, this is done to ensure safety. Everything that happens will be recorded in the cameras and it will be notified in the computer, this computer takes the full control over it. If the computer finds any obstacles, it will be notified to the driver’s laptop. And every car will have a tablet, to inform the riders, what is happening inside the car, in which route they are going and many more details regarding their journey.
In a test drive, when it was going through the Allegheny River, the car lost its self driving functionality. At that time, the driver who was in the car for support controlled the car and prevented it from the danger. The bridges were very hard and that was the cause for the incident. There are many bridges in Pittsburgh. During the test drive the self-driving cars went through the roads, hard surfaces, mountain areas and bridges. Not only the hardy surface, but there are some other factors for the self-driving car to lose its control.
According to Mr.Travin, every employee should have the great and powerful mind, to be the top of the industry as like Google.
Anand Rajendran is the Co-Founder and CEO of Dectar a well known Software products development and Mobile App Development Company based in Chennai, India. He has extensive experience in building and leading innovative and collaborative software development teams to deliver major software applications like Scimbo – Whatsapp Clone Script. He loves exploring new things and sharing his knowledge with others.