A Fake City for Real Self-Driving Cars

Siebren de Vos
December 13th 2017

People, dogs, chimps and self-driving cars. What do they have in common? Well, they all have the ability to learn. In fact, Uber built a fake city called Almono, in Pittsburgh, to train self-driving cars and vehicle operators. This town is full of fake houses, mannequins randomly crossing the streets and chaotic intersections.

Pittsburgh has been known for its steel production in the past, and it is now one of the world leaders in technology. An old steel mill site has been turned into a school for autonomous cars. Here the vehicles and their operators get trained for three weeks, and when they pass the written assessments and road tests they are ready to explore the real world. They use their 360 degrees system equipped with radar, laser and cameras to see what is happening all around them. This way they can collect information about streets for the mapmakers at the office.

Next time you call an Uber it might be possible that you will get in one of these self-driving cars. When you'll step into the car you will find a screen showing exactly what the car is detecting all around you. First it might feel a little strange not to see a human driver holding the steering wheel, but than you will realize that the car will never get distracted, sleepy or start texting.

Source: Business Insider

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