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Uber Planning on Expanding Self-Driving Car Research

May 3, 2017

Uber Planning on Expanding Self-Driving Car Research

The Uber brand is already a renowned name in the transportation industry, dedicated to providing passengers with an easy and affordable way to get from point A to point B. The brand prides itself on its contemporary appeal, and those working to optimize driving services to offer passengers additional comfort and security are always scrutinizing the driving process itself. As a result, it's not so surprising that the brand is already so dedicated to testing self-driving vehicles to offer even more excitement and reliability in the future. In order to keep up with the technology as it develops, Uber is interested in expanding testing and research opportunities outside of the United States. This move will represent the first time that the company will be looking outside of the United States to further it autonomous driving efforts. 

Early in May, Uber representatives have announced that they spoke with Raquel Urtason, who is an associate professor at the University of Toronto, specializing in computer science. The brand is interested in having her lead the new branch of Uber's Advanced Technologies Group. Urtason is particularly renowned for her proficiency in understanding computer vision and machine learning, two critical aspects of the autonomous vehicle condition. Through the right type of technological approach, it can be easy for Uber to optimize the way autonomous vehicles respond in all types of road conditions, improving the self-driving process and providing passengers with additional safety and security in the field.

The new team in Canada is planning to focus on providing vehicles with several things: perception, localization and improved mapping capabilities. The perception aspect of the research will focus on helping cars recognize objects in the world more accurately, as well as plan accordingly for each object. The localization aspect focuses on helping the vehicle understand where it is in relation to landmarks and streets. Finally, the mapping aspect will provide vehicles with scaling opportunities to optimize pathing and improve responses to traffic changes and updates on the road. All of these parts of the equation come together to improve the user experience as a whole.

According to the CEO of Uber, the new division's work will help complement the research that is already well underway at the brand's AI Labs. Many are looking forward to the changes, believing that self-driving technology can help make the roads safer, the environment healthier and driving in cities more pleasant. Though the changes to the brand's infrastructure are still fairly recent, many fans of the name are optimistic to see what such developments can bring drivers in the future. Self-driving technology continues to develop at a rapid pace among other manufacturers and major auto brands, and many companies are pooling resources to make the autonomous vehicle dream a reality.