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Uber Is Expanding Its Self-Driving Research Operations in Pittsburgh

Steel City is getting test roads for autonomous vehicles.

The Verge

Uber announced Tuesday that it is opening a new Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, where its autonomous vehicle research operations are headquartered. The company will renovate an old locomotive roundhouse at the LTV Coke Works site in Hazelwood, along the Monongahela River, which was once a symbol of this Rust Belt city’s heyday. The company will build temporary roadways to test self-driving cars as part of its expansion, as well as housing and park space.

This is the first major news to come out of Uber’s so-far fairly quiet plans to develop self-driving cars since the ride-hail company began poaching robotics engineers from Carnegie Mellon University in early 2015. Uber snatched 50 researchers from CMU in total, in a move intended to signal the company’s seriousness in pursuing self-driving technology alongside heavy hitters like Google, Apple, Ford, and Tesla. But like Apple, Uber has kept its plans relatively close to the vest.

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