Uber Opening Self-Driving Car Plant

Car service startup Uber is reportedly building a robotics lab in Pittsburgh which will create self-driving taxis.

The unnamed sources confirmed the rumor to TechCrunch and mentioned that the startup has been hiring from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, TechCrunch reported. Despite this news, the university declined to comment on the rumor. From the report:

Sources tell us Uber is hiring more than fifty senior scientists from Carnegie Mellon as well as from the National Robotics Engineering Center, a CMU-affiliated research entity. Carnegie Mellon, home of the Mars Rover and other high-profile robotics projects, declined to comment at this time, as did scientists mentioned by our source. Uber has “cleaned out” the Robotics Institute, said the source.

It makes sense for Uber to create a self-driving fleet of cars, especially since it has been troubled with rape allegations against its drivers. By bypassing drivers altogether, passengers are less likely to be assaulted and the company doesn't have to bother with background checks.
Although Uber is now valued at $41 billion, creating a robot car would take a hefty chunk of that for its research and development. Google has already invested billions in its driverless car, including a prototype, and Uber will be starting from the ground up. Pittsburgh was chosen for its location near Carnegie Mellon.
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