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• UBER's first self-driving car demo unit is a modified Ford Fusion. The car is "collecting mapping data as well as testing its self-driving capabilities," and relies on "a variety of sensors including radars, laser scanners, and high resolution cameras to map details of the environment."
• Pittsburgh happens to be where Uber R&D partner Carnegie-Mellon resides. The company was reported in March to be looking to place a large order for self-driving cars, and has talked for some time about the potential for autonomous driving to lower auto accidents and reduce the company's dependence on human drivers.
• Earlier this month, rival Lyft announced a partnership with GM to test self-driving Chevy Bolt EVs.
 

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Doesn't this change Uber's whole business model? Instead of just organizing people driving with people needing a ride they would be the owners of driverless taxis. Wouldn't they have to follow the rules of taxis at places like the airport and such?
 

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Autonomous taxis would be such a huge game changer I can see why Uber is pursuing this so aggressively. Even if they leased Bolts for $500 / month if they could drive people around an average of 16 hours / day they could charge riders $2 / hour and make a huge profit. For riders, $2 hour rides would make owning a car economically silly for most people.
 

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Here are my bold predictions
1) we will have fully realized autonomous -commercial- vehicles such as taxis and long haul semi-trucks by no later than 2022
2) The NHTSA will have to start mandating an "auto-drive" lane on highways because autonomous vehicles and people driven vehicles will not play well together.
3) Long Haul trucking and cab driving, as occupations, will be gone by 2023
 
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