The era of self-driving cars is quickly approaching. It may be difficult to imagine a life of permanent shotgun, letting innovation take the wheel. But it appears those days are upon us. Google has been leading the way in the self-driving revolution. However, there is a new self-driving car on the road. Uber, the ride share company has begun testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh. Is Google involved with Uber? Most likely not. This comes on the heels of Lyft’s announcement to team up with GM to begin their ride-share bid as well. Who will be first to the market? And where is Apple in all of this?
Uber Cheats on Google
Uber is worth an estimated $51 billion, according to funding reports. That makes the Uber small potatoes when looking at the net worth of Google. Uber may be small, but they are fierce. They have made quite an impact on the ride-sharing world. Pissing off taxi drivers everywhere, and now they are flexing their self-driving muscles. They are currently testing in Pittsburgh, which is near their Advanced Tech Center. Their self-driving car is a Ford Fusion, but Ford has said that they are not involved in the project. The new Uber car has similar technology to Google. High-resolution cameras, mapping data, laser scanners, radars, sensors, and some other tech gear included.
Making Smart Friends
Some of you may have seen this coming. Uber has been making a lot of very intelligent friends over the last few years. In 2015, Uber entered into a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, including the creation of the Uber tech center. Staff and students will be working with the ride-hailing company to develop new tech. They also partnered with the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Science last year. This college team will assist in the development of the optics space tech for mapping and safety. Who else will they need? Can they get Apple to invest?
Is Apple Not Interested?
Uber has been busy making alliances while Google remained in the dark. Interestingly, Google recently lost a few of their self-driving department members to the new company Otto. A company focused on self-driving capabilities for long haul trucking. Apple, on the other hand, may not be all that interested in the self-driving car market. Or maybe they just don’t like to brag? Reports last year indicated that Apple would be designing a self-driving car. But progress may be slow. The company worth more than $600 billion may be experiencing some financial issues after the iPhone sales have declined. And they have lost footing in China. In good faith, Apple recently invested a billion dollars into a Chinese ride-hailing company. Which self-driving car will you choose?