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Uber’s Fleet of Driverless SUVs Sounds Terrifying Yet Convenient

Uber’s Fleet of Driverless SUVs Sounds Terrifying Yet Convenient

In its next big step towards the creation of Skynet, Uber has just ordered 24,000 Volvo SUVs, each priced around $46,900, to form the basis of a driverless car fleet, reports Bloomberg. The cars will be delivered to Uber sometime between 2019 and 2021 and presumably tested and tinkered with further before actually rolling out on to city streets. Hopefully.

Driverless cars, which are mostly tested in Arizona because of its controlled, dry climate, haven’t necessarily had the best results, and it was thought that Uber had suspended the idea following a crash attributable to another driver not seeing the driverless vehicle oncoming. At fault or not, a driverless car needs to be able to adapt to bad drivers coming at it. But Uber is clearly feeling the pressure to get up to, er, speed, as Google’s competing rideshare service, Waymo, is going all-in on driverless.

But here’s the big question: do you actually want a driverless Uber? On the plus side, you don’t have to worry that the driver might be a surprise criminal. On the other, you might lose the ability to adapt to secret routes the rider knows but the GPS doesn’t or have those bizarre out-of-left-field conversations that sometimes lead to networking at best, or polite fake smiles at worst. Always a story to tell afterwards, though.

Hollywood, as always, anticipated this objection years ago:

The real driverless cars may feel free to lay off the whistling.

Would you prefer an Uber that controls itself? Let us know in the comments!

Images: NBC, Disney

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