See a self-driving Uber up close at the Western Pa. Mobility Showcase

If you haven’t been in an autonomous Uber yet, now’s your chance to ask questions.

Jasmine Goldband / The Incline
MJ Slaby

From ride share to bike share and electric vehicles to autonomous vehicles, the Western Pa. Mobility Showcase will display the different ways transportation is changing. Plus, it’s your chance to see a self-driving car up close.

The showcase, a new event created by the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, is on Thursday, and it’s open to the public with more than 20 exhibits. Think of it as a mobility trade show where you can pick up new ideas about getting from point A to point B.

There will be familiar companies like Uber and Lyft as well as lesser-known companies that could become household names within five years, said Justin Miller, principal transportation planner in the city department.

Western Pa. Mobility Showcase

Learn about the wide range of technology and research that's helping people get where they need to go. The showcase will have two sessions — noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.

Where:Alumni Hall, University of Pittsburgh at 4227 Fifth Ave (Oakland)

When:January 4, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

How much:Free

Uber vehicle operators, a.k.a. the people who ride around Pittsburgh in the company’s self-driving cars, will be there with a self-driving vehicle, the company confirmed. Attendees can ask questions and take a look at the car’s technology, but won’t be able to go on rides, per Uber.

Another exhibitor will be TransitScreen, a Washington, D.C.-based company that allows building owners to display transportation options in real time, including bus arrivals as well as ride share and bike share availability. Miller said the service is already in use locally, including in the Pittsburgh City-County Building.

Other displays will feature Zipcar, Pittsburgh Transportation Group, which manages zTrip and SuperShuttle, and Traffic21, the transportation research institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

“Mobility is rapidly evolving, and it’s vital that we keep our region’s residents informed about the options available to them now, and the ones that will be coming to them soon,” Karina Ricks, the city’s mobility and infrastructure director said in a press release.

Miller agreed and said that Pittsburgh often serves as a testing ground for transportation ideas given the diverse geography and other challenges.

“If it can work in Pittsburgh, it can work in somebody else’s city,” he said.