Max Chafkin,为Bloomberg报道

Near the end of 2014, Uber co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick flew to Pittsburgh on a mission: to hire dozens of the world’s experts in autonomous vehiclesThe city is home to Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics department, which has produced many of the biggest names in the newly hot field.


The goal: to replace Uber’s more than 1 million human drivers with robot drivers — as quickly as possible.

这个计划看起来很大胆,甚至是鲁莽的And according to most analysts, true self-driving cars are years or decades away. Kalanick begs to differ“We are going commercial,” he says in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek“This can’t just be about science.”


Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achievedGoogle, widely regarded as the leader in the field, has been testing its fleet for several years, and Tesla Motors offers Autopilot, essentially a souped-up cruise control that drives the car on the highwayEarlier this week, Ford announced plans for an autonomous ride-sharing serviceBut none of these companies has yet brought a self-driving car-sharing service to market.

谷歌确实在其自动驾驶车辆方面做了很多宣传,但我不相信他们是“该领域的领导者”首先,谷歌的汽车只有25英里/小时我骑着一辆自动驾驶的梅赛德斯S级轿车它不仅以高速行驶,而且没有任何突兀的摄像机或传感器。它看起来像一辆普通的梅赛德斯轿车- 除了它有“S 500智能驱动器“在车的侧面涂上大字我在梅赛德斯采访过的工程师坚持认为,即使是现在,虽然技术仍处于开发阶段并且远离生产,但汽车需要看起来很漂亮任何让汽车看起来很傻的传感器都是不可能的。

也许梅赛德斯在这方面根植于传统第一辆汽车确实看起来像“无马车”也许我们很快就会适应配备了突出的突出传感器的自动驾驶汽车但是现在,梅赛德斯在路上的原型非常接近完全自治,但看起来并没有什么不同如果梅赛德斯是正确的,客户(或至少是梅赛德斯的客户)不想购买看起来笨拙的自动驾驶汽车,那么他们就会对传感器阵列突出的竞争对手产生重大影响。技术不是一切 - 设计很重要。

更新:如果你不同意 - 如果你认为自动驾驶汽车的外观并不重要,只有内饰的舒适和设施 - 我认为你是短视的如果所有自动驾驶汽车都看起来很笨拙,他们仍会卖优步是已经购买看起来很笨拙的自动驾驶汽车但是当公司开始销售时会发生什么好看self-driving cars? Cars are status symbols — even cars you don’t ownWhat else explains the existence of black town cars? A lot of people used to argue that the exterior design of personal computers didn’t matter, either — only the functionality没有人认为这一点

For now, Uber’s test cars travel with safety drivers, as common sense and the law dictateThese professionally trained engineers sit with their fingertips on the wheel, ready to take control if the car encounters an unexpected obstacleA co-pilot, in the front passenger seat, takes notes on a laptop, and everything that happens is recorded by cameras inside and outside the car so that any glitches can be ironed outEach car is also equipped with a tablet computer in the back seat, designed to tell riders that they’re in an autonomous car and to explain what’s happening“The goal is to wean us off of having drivers in the car, so we don’t want the public talking to our safety drivers,” Krikorian says.

On a recent weekday test drive, the safety drivers were still an essential part of the experience, as Uber’s autonomous car briefly turned un-autonomous, while crossing the Allegheny RiverA chime sounded, a signal to the driver to take the wheelA second ding a few seconds later indicated that the car was back under computer control“桥梁真的很难,”Krikorian说“And there are like 500 bridges in Pittsburgh.”