Uber Built a Miniature Fake City in Pittsburgh to Test Self-Driving Cars

The "city" is equipped with everything from oblivious pedestrians to erratic drivers.

In order to enter the public roads as an autonomous ride-hailing vehicle, there are plenty of hoops you need to jump through. After all the permitting and bureaucracy is complete, autonomous vehicles (and their chaperones) need tohave some quality time at Uber’s Advanced Technology Group’s simulated city called ALMONO. This 42-acre simulated town has everything…errr most things, a busy city would have. From non-observant pedestrians to containers simulating buildings and terrible drivers whizzing by. ALMONO is on an old steel mill site on the Monongahela River in Hazelwood, Pennsylvania. 

This very interactive village is used to test Uber’s autonomous Volvo XC90s in near real world conditions without putting anyone in true danger. According to Uber, its vehicle operators (person making sure the vehicle doesn’t go off the rails) have to go through three weeks of intensive training which include behind the wheel time at the facility, classroom work, and a series of written tests. Once vehicle programing and Uber Vehicle Operators are certified and ready for the road, they begin accepting fairs in Pittsburgh. 

Uber’s autonomous ride-hailing services are currently offered in the following neighborhoods around Pittsburgh; Strip District, Bloomfield, Shadyside, Southside, Oakland and Squirrel Hill. As you can see in the video below, the autonomous Ford Fusionsvehicles currently undergoing real world testing are closely monitored by their operators, leaving only an inch between the operator’s hand and the steering wheel.

After reading all this you should have several things on your mind, but one should definitely be, “lets go hoon this course.”