February 3, 2015
App-based transportation company Uber is getting ready to take on Google in the self-driving car race.
Uber has announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to open a facility that will develop self-driving cars. Dubbed the Uber Advanced Technologies Center, it will be located in Pittsburgh, near the CMU campus.
“The center will focus on the development of key long-term technologies that advance Uber’s mission of bringing safe, reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere,” reads an Uber blog post.
The research and development partnership will see Uber researchers working closely with CMU faculty, staff and students with a special focus on mapping, vehicle safety and autonomy technology.
“We are excited to join the community of Pittsburgh and partner with the experts at CMU, whose breadth and depth of technical expertise, particularly in robotics, are unmatched,” Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden said.
“As a global leader in urban transportation, we have the unique opportunity to invest in leading edge technologies to enable the safe and efficient movement of people and things at giant scale. This collaboration and the creation of the Uber Advanced Technologies Center represent an important investment in building for the long term of Uber.”
The news of Uber’s new partnership comes after rumors began swirling that Google was working on its own transportation app to compete with Uber’s services. An unnamed source told Bloomberg Google has a ride-sharing app already in development — one that is being tested by Google employees.
Google has refused to comment on the report, although it did post the following tweet: “We think you’ll find Uber and Lyft work quite well. We use them all the time.”
If a battle does erupt between the two companies over transportation apps and self-driving vehicles, however, Google has a decided financial advantage.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.