Uber.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ/ lsd

Ride-hailing service Uber has begun testing its own self-driving technology, the company said Thursday, while General Motors-owned start-up Cruise is also taking similar technology to the streets.

Uber's tests are under way in the city of Pittsburgh in the north-eastern US state of Pennsylvania using a converted hybrid Ford Fusion car, the company said in a blog post.

Uber head Travis Kalanick has indicated that robotic cars could become a part of the ride-hailing service. The company hinted it was developing its own system when it established a research centre in Pittsburgh with experts from nearby Carnegie Mellon University.

GM has invested 500 million dollars in Uber-competitor Lyft, and has spent an additional 1 billion dollars to acquire self-driving technology developer Cruise Automation. On Thursday Cruise released a photo of an electric Chevy Bolt on the streets of San Francisco.

"We are testing our autonomous technology on the all new Chevrolet Bolt EV in San Francisco," the company said.

Google, along with a number of established car companies, and even Chinese internet firm Baidu, are all pursuing technology for self-driving vehicles.

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