We’ll Have Self-Driving Cars as Taxis by 2030

Because the technology is new, equipping a car with autonomous technology costs about $150,000 (the zero-emission fuel system comes standard).

We’ll Have Self-Driving Cars as Taxis by 2030

Google is famous for investing in technologies that do not have a clear commercial purpose, but a recent study into autonomous vehicles suggests that the company's 20 self-driving cars may best serve as a fleet of taxis. 


At least it would make good economic sense, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and help the environment to boot. Google's 20 autonomous cars have logged over 1 million miles collectively and each car currently drives about 10,000 miles each week each. With this robust testing, researchers are comfortable formulating plans on how to deploy self-driven cars —

as taxis!

Because the technology is new, equipping a car with autonomous technology costs about $150,000 (the zero-emission fuel system comes standard). At this cost, an average driver who commutes about 12,000 miles per year would not recover that investment. But taxis, which drive between 40,000 and 70,000 miles per year, could.

The return on investment results from less fuel use and not having to pay a driver (not something all current taxi drivers would appreciate). Zero-emissions systems account for half the energy savings of a self-driving taxi fleet.

The other half comes from a practice called "right sizing" in which the appropriately sized vehicles arrives to pick you up. A single person will need a small autonomous car while a family leaving for vacation will require a larger, less fuel-efficient vehicle.

Princeton's Alain Kornhauser predicts that, by 2030, self-driving vehicles could help economize road miles by carpooling. As for Google's vehicles, they have yet to cause a single road accident. Watch this video to see how they're programmed to adjust to challenges as they arise:

Read more at Kurzweil AI.

Photo credits: Bloomberg/Getty, Shutterstock

U.S. Navy controls inventions that claim to change "fabric of reality"

Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.

U.S. Navy ships

Credit: Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
  • Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
  • While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
Keep reading Show less

The misguided history of female anatomy

From "mutilated males" to "wandering wombs," dodgy science affects how we view the female body still today.

Credit: Hà Nguyễn via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • The history of medicine and biology often has been embarrassingly wrong when it comes to female anatomy and was surprisingly resistant to progress.
  • Aristotle and the ancient Greeks are much to blame for the mistaken notion of women as cold, passive, and little more than a "mutilated man."
  • Thanks to this dubious science, and the likes of Sigmund Freud, we live today with a legacy that judges women according to antiquated biology and psychology.
Keep reading Show less

Why do holidays feel like they're over before they even start?

People tend to reflexively assume that fun events – like vacations – will go by really quickly.

Mind & Brain

For many people, summer vacation can't come soon enough – especially for the half of Americans who canceled their summer plans last year due to the pandemic.

Keep reading Show less
Strange Maps

Android has won the phone world war

A global survey shows the majority of countries favor Android over iPhone.

Quantcast