Uber’s getting serious about driverless cars, after the ride-hailing app teamed up with the University of Arizona to research new technology for autonomous cars.
The strategic partnership between the two will focus on the optics systems needed to make driverless cars safe for roads, according to a statement from Uber:
We’ll work with some of the world’s leading experts in lens design at the University to improve the imagery we capture and use to build out mapping and safety features.
This push into driverless cars is not the first for Uber, as the announcement comes just months after the company teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University to work on a robotics lab. The ride-hailing app’s chief executive Travis Kalanick has long stressed Uber’s vision to eventually replace their drivers with driverless cars.
An email sent out to university employees originally revealed the latest project, since confirmed by Uber, reported news site The Verge. According to the email, Uber will also donate $25,000 to the university’s college of optical science:
This partnership builds on the UA’s history of excellence in optical sciences and will fund important research here at the UA in the coming years. Details of the agreement are yet to be finalised but common areas of interest and expertise include mapping and autonomous or "self-driving" technology.