The machines are taking over!! To date, Uber’s (UBER) self-driving cars have raked in 1 million miles in autonomous mode (including passenger trips and testing) since the company opened its Advanced Technologies Group 2.5 years ago. This is a bit tricky to put into context as not all companies disclose the number of miles driven with the same time and location parameters. Still, it’s an incredible feat. Competitor Lyft (LYFT) has its own trials now.
Uber’s cars have completed 30,000 passenger trips in the past year in Pittsburgh and Tempe/Phoenix, but not Uber’s self-driving efforts haven’t all gone smoothly. In December, the company halted its testing in San Francisco after a fight with California’s DMV over its lack of an autonomous driving permit (the cars eventually returned on the road). You know the government. It always has to have its cut!
Then in February, Alphabet’s (GOOGL) self-driving car unit, Waymo, sued the company for allegedly stealing trade secrets when it acquired a startup founded by a former employee. The case is headed to jury trial next month, though it’s still unclear how it will conclude.
Uber’s relationship with Pittsburgh has also been strained at times, with city officials claiming the company didn’t deliver on all its promises in bringing the test program to the community, as was reported by the NYT earlier this year.
Still, the one million mile milestone is impressive. It also means the machines could be coming for your jobs if you are using it as a source of income.