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Uber employees test the self-driving Ford Fusion hybrid cars in Pittsburgh, Pa on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)

Self-driving Ubers hit Pittsburgh's streets Wednesday. How did the city prepare?


You might think preparing for a fleet of self-driving cabs would require a lot of rules, preparation and maybe a little worry.

Apparently, Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto, a Democrat, isn't stressing. He's welcoming the challenge of being the first major city to test Uber's self-driving fleet, which hit the streets Wednesday, by essentially giving Uber free reign. There are no extra regulations or rules in sight.

It's not our role to throw up regulations or limit companies like Uber. You can either put up red tape or roll out the red carpet.
Bill Peduto, Pittsburgh mayor

The New York Times reports the cars were driving around the city for months just so people can get familiar with them. But even emergency services don't know where the cars will go when they're fully operational. 

Some Pittsburgh locals think Peduto is moving too fast.

"I feel like we were being pushed into being part of this by the city," Montana Michniak told the Times.

But Peduto insists the benefits will be worth it, insisting that while "there is no tech that can guarantee there won't be accidents," there has to be a "better way" than letting thousands of people die a day in car crashes. 

So far, Peduto seems pretty excited.

So why Pittsburgh?

One of the big reasons was actually a legal loophole. Pennsylvania law doesn't technically ban driverless cars, as long as someone could take over in an emergency. Also, Pittsburgh is home to Carnegie Mellon University, a robotics hub that Uber found useful.

You can see one of the Ubers in action around the city here.

What do you think of Pittsburgh's hands-off approach to Uber's self-driving cars?

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