PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Uber will soon make self-driving cars available to riders in Pittsburgh, in the first time such technology is being offered to the public.
The Associated Press queried people in the city: Would you be willing to ride in a self-driving car? The answers ranged from curiosity and interest to skepticism and concern for safety:
Larisa Williams, 46, of Howell, Michigan, has the Uber app on her phone and likes the idea of driverless cars. She is originally from Ukraine and has travelled in Europe where people more frequently use public transportation.
“It’s basically like a student driver. You’d have a brake in the car, I would think. Some people have to volunteer to do this and I would be very willing to be one of them,” said Williams, who was in town with her husband to drop off their daughter at Duquesne University.
Darlene Albrecht, 57, of Erie, was taking a smoke break outside a downtown hotel and said she likes Uber and would have no qualms about using a driverless vehicle.
“I would absolutely love to try that. I think it’s a novel idea,” she said.
Anthony Fielder, 35, of Carnegie, was waiting for a transit bus. He’s never used Uber, but is open to the idea of trying driverless cars as long as there’s backup.
“I’d be willing to try it as long as there’s a real human there to hit the brakes, you know, if the thing goes belly-up,” he said. “I mean, we can only rely on technology so much or it’s gonna bite us. But, I mean, if there was a driver, you know, person there, (and a) free ride, I don’t see why anybody wouldn’t take it.”
Terry Keasler, 59, of Baltimore, was in town for a conference and says he has real questions about driverless technology.
“I would want to know a little bit more about that technology. Are we there yet? I don’t know,” Keasler said. “If we are there then I think that’s a cool thing, I’m just not sure that we are there.”