Pilot models of the Uber self-driving car is displayed at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center on September 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Uber launched a groundbreaking driverless car service, stealing ahead of Detroit auto giants and Silicon Valley rivals with technology that could revolutionize transportation.  / AFP / Angelo Merendino        (Photo credit should read ANGELO MERENDINO/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP Pilot models of the Uber self-driving car is displayed at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center on September 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Uber launched a groundbreaking driverless car service, stealing ahead of Detroit auto giants and Silicon Valley rivals with technology that could revolutionize transportation. / AFP / Angelo Merendino (Photo credit should read ANGELO MERENDINO/AFP/Getty Images)

The race is on for developers to create automated vehicles that will one day fill roads across the world and cities are stepping up to test these vehicles and become the leaders of this fledgling industry. Fortune staffer Luis Bettencourt points out that U.S. cities like Boston and Pittsburgh have committed to testing these vehicles, while globally cities like Singapore and Tokyo are taking the lead.

Bettencourt points out just how these automated vehicles can transform cities for better of for worse:

A system allowing autonomous vehicles to behave as subways in dense city centers—forming convoys of different vehicles such as private cars, shared vehicles, and ambulances—and as electric cars in suburbs would be the best of both worlds. In turn, this would also stimulate new businesses and technologies that can create jobs...

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