Is Pittsburgh About to Become the Next Detroit?

No offense to the motor city, but auto companies are eyeing the steel city to develop the next generation of driverless vehicles.




Photo via flickr creative commons

 

At this point, Pittsburghers have become accustomed to the sight of self-driving Ubers on city streets. Now Ford, along with reportedly another auto company, are headed here as well to make Pittsburgh the proving grounds for their cutting-edge transportation technology.

The news broke late last week that Ford would be investing $1 billion in local startup technology company Argo AI over the next five years. Ford anticipates launching a fully autonomous vehicle with the help of the Pittsburgh company by the year 2021, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"Pittsburgh continues to make global headlines on this growing industry, which stems from the hard work and brainpower of our friends at Carnegie Mellon, and the many industries they continue to seed and grow throughout our region," said Mayor Bill Peduto in a statement. "I want to thank Ford for banking on all Pittsburgh has to offer."

Additionally, Don Smith, president of the Regional Industrial Development Corp (RIDC), told the Pittsburgh Business Times that an unnamed auto company is in talks to lease space in RIDC’s upcoming Tech Forge building in Lawrenceville.

“It’s fair to say that almost every major car company has had some conversation about Pittsburgh,” Smith said.

One reason Pittsburgh has become a destination for testing upcoming automotive technology is its geography. Raffi Krikorian, director of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center, went as far as to call Pittsburgh the “double black diamond” for their engineers, due to the city’s “organic” collection of hills, winding roads and narrow streets.

Who would’ve thought the confusing, convoluted traffic layout that Pittsburgh commuters curse every morning would one day become the city’s greatest asset?
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More From The 412

Here to Stay? New Stats Back Up Pittsburgh Bike Lane Usage

Here to Stay? New Stats Back Up Pittsburgh Bike Lane Usage

Once referred to as “desolation drive,” critics have argued that the Penn Avenue bike lanes aren’t used enough to justify their existence.
Awesome Hyperlapse Video Takes You Through Pittsburgh at Warp Speed

Awesome Hyperlapse Video Takes You Through Pittsburgh at Warp Speed

Instagram’s new Hyperlapse technology was made for Pittsburgh.
Michael Keaton's 'Birdman' Snags Best Picture Oscar

Michael Keaton's 'Birdman' Snags Best Picture Oscar

The Pittsburgh native came up short in the race for best actor.
Big Brother is Watching You Drive through Pittsburgh

Big Brother is Watching You Drive through Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority has been keeping a log of cars in Pittsburgh in an effort to track vehicles racking up multiple tickets. Not everyone’s pleased about it.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in June

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Best Restaurants 2017

Best Restaurants 2017

This year Pittsburgh Magazine's independent Restaurant Review Panel recognizes 34 establishments as our regions's top restaurants. Our list includes All Arounders, Killer Casual, Fancy Night Out, Best Budget and Classic Comfort establishments.
Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Pittsburgh Chef of the Year: Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller’s portfolio includes overseeing five specialty restaurants — Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen and Wine Bar, Soba, umi and Kaya — as well as 14 fast-casual Mad Mex restaurants and a full-service catering operation. Even in an increasingly competitive environment, his restaurants remain in-demand and relevant.
Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Pittsburgh's Best New Restaurant: Apteka

Apteka, operated by Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, is a vegan eatery that draws on Lasky’s sixth-generation Pittsburgh roots and Skowronski’s Polish heritage.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch: How Will You Remember Kunitz's Overtime Winner?

Watch: How Will You Remember Kunitz's Overtime Winner?

Check out three versions of the goal that sends the Penguins to the Stanley Cup final for a sixth time. (Hint) We think we saved the best for last.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pittsburgh Bartenders Give Back By Keeping Time

Pittsburgh Bartenders Give Back By Keeping Time

The Pittsburgh chapter of the USBG partners with Campari USA to create a calendar that will benefit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Vital Happy Hour Alert: Great Cocktails at the Wigle Tasting Room

Vital Happy Hour Alert: Great Cocktails at the Wigle Tasting Room

The third outpost of local distillery Wigle, found in the Omni William Penn Hotel, is an instant destination for cocktail fans.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Frightened about Game 7? You Should Be

Frightened about Game 7? You Should Be

A win will send the Penguins to the Stanley Cup finals for a second year in a row and re-write team history.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

Make the Cut with Jonathan Moran Woodworks

The Strip District-based woodworker's cutting boards can be custom made with the wood of your choice.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
If Only the Baywatch Team Could've Saved Us From Jack Sparrow

If Only the Baywatch Team Could've Saved Us From Jack Sparrow

Reviews of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" and "Baywatch," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
New York Bridal Designer Shares Her Secrets

New York Bridal Designer Shares Her Secrets

Pennsylvania native Jaclyn Jordan brings her newest collection to the Blanc de Blanc Bridal Boutique in Carrick.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Get to the North Side for Home & Garden Tour, Epic Yard Sale

Get to the North Side for Home & Garden Tour, Epic Yard Sale

Explore lavish homes and gardens with the West Allegheny Historic District’s annual Tour and Tasting, or go on the hunt for hidden treasure during The Great Mexican War Streets Yard Sale.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Explore Your Future with Point Park University

Explore Your Future with Point Park University

The university will host three summer workshops for high school students from July 17-20.

Comments