Today, Uber began picking up some Pittsburgh passengers in a handful of automated cars (each manned by a "safety engineer" in the driver's seat) as part of a pilot project. It also invited a handful of journalists along for the ride. Their consensus: It's pretty boring.
From Washington Post reporter Brian Fung: "In a word, things felt normal. Mundane, even."
TechCrunch reporter Signe Brewster: "If they are anything like me, they will respond with fascination followed by boredom."
NPR reporter Liz Reid: "The ride feels pretty much like a ride in any other car—with an extremely cautious driver. We go maybe one or two miles an hour over the speed limit. Turns in particular feel painfully slow."
All of this boredom is more of an endorsement than a criticism. When it comes to moving from point A to point B safely, uneventfulness is exactly the quality for which most people aim.