The first self-driving Uber cars hit the road this week in Pittsburgh, but until the technology advances, they will come along with safety drivers to ensure “the ride goes smoothly.”

Uber, which has been working since 2014 to put self-driving cars on the road and said in August it would pilot the program in Steel City, said the vehicles have the potential to reduce the number of traffic accidents, free up the 20% of space in cities used to park cars and cut congestion.

“Creating a viable alternative to individual car ownership is important to the future of cities,” Uber vice president of self-driving technology Anthony Levandowski and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in a joint statement.

Noting that self-driving technology is still very young, the executives said that the cars still require human intervention “in many conditions, including bad weather.”

“Even when these technology issues get fixed, we believe ridesharing will be a mix — with services provided by both drivers and self-driving Ubers,” they said. “This is because of the limits of self-driving software and the skyrocketing demand for better transportation which people-powered transport is uniquely able to solve.”

 In response to concerns that the cars will eliminate drivers and their jobs, Levandowski and Kalanick said that technology “creates new work opportunities while disrupting existing ones.”

“Self-driving Ubers will be on the road 24 hours a day, which means they will need a lot more human maintenance than cars today,” they stated.

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