Uber might have already revolutionized the taxi industry, but the company isn’t stopping there. Uber is also developing its own autonomous car networks, and has already established itself as a serious contender in the race to develop a fully self-driving taxi service. While Uber faced some early roadblocks in the form of intellectual property lawsuits launched by Google’s Waymo, accidents, and accusations of operating without permits, the company has made several large strides recently and has gained approval to test on California public roads. Now, self-driving Uber vehicles have hit a major milestone which proves the company will be one to watch during the oncoming self-driving car revolution: this week, the ride-sharing app announced its self-driving Uber vehicles have logged over 200 million miles on public roads.
Uber’s most recent announcement comes hot on the heels of its September announcement that its self-driving Uber cars had logged 100 million miles in their first two and a half years. That means its most recent 100 million miles were logged in just one hundred days, showing how aggressively Uber is pursuing its autonomous vehicles program. Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, told Forbes this latest milestone proves the company’s recent focus on self-driving technology is paying off:
We’re finally hitting our stride. We’re about 84,000 miles a week on the street at this point.This isn’t a demo. This isn’t a one-off. This isn’t a proof of concept. This is a big product for us.
Uber currently operates around 200 autonomous vehicles but is rapidly expanding its offerings in major cities. Still, some critics are skeptical about Uber’s future in the self-driving vehicle sector due to the fact that the company isn’t developing any vehicles – only the technological infrastructure to support and operate fleets of autonomous, hailable taxis. Still, Uber believes that distinction is what will put them above competitors. Are self-driving Uber cars the future of ride sharing?