Uber just went public a month ago and is already making some big moves.
The ride-sharing giant revealed its newest self-driving car on Wednesday. Uber has partnered with Volvo to produce a new line of Volvo’s existing XC90 vehicles specifically for Uber’s self-driving fleet. The new production model is internally called 519G and comes with computerized brakes and steering systems straight from the factory, per CNBC.
That’s in contrast to what Uber used to do with XC90s. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, Uber modified existing XC90s for self-driving, meaning they didn’t come with these features built-in like the new ones will.
Uber claimed that the new XC90s are also safer and more reliable in general. They have LIDAR, radar and ultrasonic sensing to facilitate automatic driving, according to a promo video the company released.
Of course, the new XC90 still has standard brakes and a steering wheel for humans. That’s still standard practice for self-driving vehicles, as the technology isn’t quite there yet to support completely automated cars.
Uber Advanced Technology Group head Eric Meyhofer told CNBC the company plans to test totally automated cars with no human drivers in the near future, but acknowledged it needs to earn “public trust” before doing that. Progress on Uber’s self-driving unit halted a bit after a car hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona last year.
Uber is testing self-driving cars again after that, but plenty of people still don’t trust the concept.