Uber is right now right up there with Elon Musk or even The Donald himself when it comes to making headlines. While the Uber Air vehicles concept seems hard to stomach for many, it does actually pay to read a little and dare I say pay attention to some of the facts coming out of Washington DC over the last few days.
However there’s some news that even a sceptical motoring writer like myself or any fair and reasonable person needs to pay attention to. Volvo and Uber have presented a self-driving vehicle that’s good to go. The Volvo XC90 SUV was presented at the summit, it’s in fact the third car the two companies have developed to allow the future possible deployment of Uber’s own self-driving system.
These kind of partnerships with outfits such as Volvo surely confirm Uber isn’t some fly-by-night company seeking headlines. Uber’s autonomous ride-sharing service is a genuine project that will become a reality.
Additionally, during the summit, The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao shared actual figures when it comes to real and ongoing testing of autonomous vehicles on U.S roads. There’s more than 1,400 self-driving cars, trucks and other vehicles in testing made by more than 80 companies across 36 U.S. states, plus in Washington DC itself.
Chao also stated there are more than 1.59 million registered drones currently in the U.S., of which more than 372,000 are classified as commercial, with more than 136,000 registered commercial drone operators also on the books.
The secretary also later added the Department of Transportation aims to be “tech neutral, and not command and control” and that the department is not “in the business of picking winners and losers,” she further added private-sector attendants would be “pleased to hear” such news.
So, while you may scoff at the news Uber has plans to deliver passengers via drones across Melbourne at some point, me being one of them, look at what plans are already well underway on Terra firma. Uber it seems isn’t full of shit.