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Drive into the future: Uber testing self-driving cars in Phoenix area

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX — Uber is taking a step into the future and it may be eliminating its drivers in the process.

According to the East Valley Tribune, the transportation app is starting to test self-driving cars and they’re already here in the Valley.

A few bulky hybrid Ford Fusions with Pennsylvania license plates have already been spotted in the East Valley and, according to Uber, are mapping and gathering data throughout Phoenix.

Uber has been working on this technology for over a year after hiring robotics experts from Carnegie Mellon University.

Although the cars are self-driving, there are currently drivers behind the wheel observing the operation of the new cars.

While the self-driving car may be new to the Valley, Uber introduced this technology to the street in Pittsburgh in May.

“Real-world testing is critical to our efforts to develop self-driving technology,” according to an Uber blog post from May. “Self-driving cars have the potential to save millions of lives and improve quality of life for people around the world.”

By eliminating drivers, Uber could drastically cut their costs and increase their profits. This would also eliminate the issue of sketchy drivers, background checks and whether drivers should be consider employees.

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