Timothy Carone, a Notre Dame professor who has written about the future of automation, noted that Uber is mitigating the risk with its own drivers — unlike Tesla Motors, which put semi-autonomous technology in the hands of individual customers.
"This is a way to get autonomous cars out there and accepted and increase the adoption rate," Carone said. "It will take a decade of testing before an 18-year-old can get in the car and tell it where to go."
Uber-branded test cars have been on Pittsburgh roads for several months. Standing at a bus stop, Anthony Fielder of the suburb of Carnegie was open to the idea.
"I'd be willing to try it as long as there's a real human there to hit the brakes, you know, if the thing goes belly-up," he said. "We can only rely on technology so much or it's going to bite us."
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