The development of self-autonomous cars in recent years has evolved lightning fast. In fact, in the last ten years, the possibility of having driverless cars on the roads has gone from “virtually impossible” to them now being “ready and commercially available for use” in the automobile market, albeit in the public transport sector.
The engineering of their technological capabilities has progressed at an overwhelmingly quick rate, and now we see self-driving cars being tested in plenty of places across the US. Here’s where and how you can try them out.
Aptiv – Las Vegas, Pittsburg, Boston
A company named Aptiv profess themselves as “moving mobility forward”, now offering a taxi-ride in one of their autonomous vehicles in Las Vegas. They like to call this hailing a “lyft.” Although a real human does sit behind the wheel as a testing safety precaution, the experience is still a rare opportunity to get a little taste of the future. Aptiv has recently announced that they have completed more than 30,000 lyft trips and driven more than 50,000 passengers. The trips are also beginning to roll out in Pittsburgh and Boston too.
Waymo – Phoenix
Waymo is considered a frontrunner in the autonomous car industry, and is seemingly charging forward as a leader after racking up more than 10 million miles of their cars being on public roads. Waymo is actually a project from Google, and has been offering taxi-ride style lifts to the public for years. Although at first these trips were free, volunteer-based and offered only to an exclusive 400 member ‘early-rider’ club, trips in the self-driving cars are now available to any of those who register and download the app.
Aurora – Palo Alto, Sans Francisco, Pittsburgh
This is probably another company you are yet to have heard of, but now is the time to know their name because in February 2019, Aurora gained more than $530 million in finances. This funding will be used to continue developing their own self-driving technology while working with the big shot names of Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Byron. In the meantime, you can test out their autonomous VW e-Golfs and Lincoln MKZ’s. However like Aptiv, a human vehicle operator is on board too.
Uber – Pittsburgh
Chances are you’ve heard of Uber, and the company has in fact been a leader in driverless cars for years. However, they currently only complete a short restricted route in Pittsburgh, and only run the vehicles on weekdays, during daylight, and never in bad weather. Uber is also running these autonomous cars in Toronto and San Francisco but only in manual mode. This means a human will be driving the vehicle as an exercise which helps gather mapping and simulation data to progress their research and technology further. Watch this space!
Now we’ve reached the grand old year of 2019, it seems what we once envisioned in the future is actually now digressing to the present. Who would have thought 10 years ago that we could ride a driverless car on public roads? Public use of the self-driven car industry is seemingly becoming more and more ubiquitously accessible every day, but if you’re really desperate to check them out, you now know where to find them!