The San Francisco-based company mentioned that a number of autonomous Ford Fusion vehicles with human backup drivers will pick up passengers like usual Uber vehicles do and users will be able to opt if they want a self-driving car or not. And if they do, their rides will be free of charge.
They also stated that “When there’s no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle. So the magic there is, you basically bring the cost below the cost of ownership for everybody, and then car ownership goes away,” at the Code Conference in 2014, shortly after Google unveiled its self-driving car prototype.
The company also announced a $300 million deal with Volvo. The Swedish-automaker is to provide SUVs to Uber for autonomous vehicle research and eventually Volvo SUVs will be part of the self-driving fleet in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile they will develop base vehicles for research and both companies will develop autonomous vehicles individually.
Uber also announced that it is acquiring a self-driving startup called Otto that has developed technology allowing big rigs to drive themselves.