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Uber will begin testing self-driving cars in downtown Dallas

Uber will begin testing self-driving cars in downtown Dallas

Uber cars
For its self-driving cars, Uber uses Volvos. Courtesy photo

If you're walking around downtown, you'll probably want to look both ways. Uber will begin testing self-driving cars in downtown Dallas in November.

Uber is already testing the cars in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto. The company says in a release that Dallas is a good candidate because we already use so many of their various offerings, including shared rides, Uber Eats, JUMP scooters, Transit, and Uber Freight.

"Dallas also offers us the opportunity to explore a different type of road network for our self-driving technology," the company statement says. "The city's modern infrastructure, unique traffic patterns, road characteristics, and climate will offer new information that can inform our ongoing engineering efforts."

They'll begin collecting data in downtown Dallas in early November, a process that involves:

  • Developing high-definition maps, to get information for the self-driving system
  • Capturing everyday scenarios that can be recreated in simulation and on their test track
  • Refining their expansion methodology, which involves identifying a city's characteristics, running that data through their autonomy system in simulation and on their test track to make sure the autonomy system will perform

The data collection is done with actual humans driving the cars.

"The data we collect will inform our next steps — we may not look to test our self-driving system in Dallas immediately following this first round of data gathering," Uber says. "While we are certainly excited by this possibility, we are also committed to ensuring that every mile we drive on public roads contributes meaningfully to our development work."

Uber is on its second round of testing, which it halted in 2018 after a fatal accident in Arizona.

Uber is bringing a new administrative hub housing corporate functions to Dallas, specifically the Epic tower under construction in Deep Ellum.