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).
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 —
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
- The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
- Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
- Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.
In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.
The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.
- U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
- A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
- Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
A space memorial company plans to launch the ashes of "Pikachu," a well-loved Tabby, into space.
- Steve Munt, Pikachu's owner, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the mission.
- If all goes according to plan, Pikachu will be the second cat to enter space, the first being a French feline named Felicette.
- It might seem frivolous, but the cat-lovers commenting on Munt's GoFundMe page would likely disagree.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.