Your future Uber ride may not actually have a driver

There's a joke in here somewhere

Uber driver

There was word earlier this year that Google was looking to compete with Uber, and now it turns out the opposite may be true as well.

Google has been working on self-driving cars for years, and the rumor was that the search company is looking at starting a driverless taxi service; but what if Uber wants to remove the drivers from its own service?

Uber has posted a number of job listings at its Advanced Technologies Center that seem to indicate as much, PC World points out.

The brand new research center was created with the famed innovators at Carnegie Mellon University, and Uber is apparently seeking experts in robotics, machine learning, communications, traffic simulation, vehicle testing, and software and hardware development to work there.

Late but never last

The listings' details all point to one thing: that Uber wants to take the drivers out of its cars. And given all the controversies surrounding Uber drivers over the last year, can you blame it?

A lot of much bigger companies - in both the technology and automotive industries - have pretty significant head starts on Uber in this area, and these efforts may ultimately come to nothing.

But Uber has proved once already that it's savvy and ruthless enough to topple well-entrenched businesses on their own turf - when was the last time you willingly took a normal taxi? - so it's worth keeping an eye on nonetheless.

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