We’ve seen more in the news lately about autonomous vehicles hitting the roadways for testing and about how the many automotive manufacturers are betting on the technology for the future.
But what about a driverless taxi service to take you to your destination? Would you trust the technology that much to use it?
A study from the Berkeley Lab, has scientists suggesting that greenhouse gas emissions from an electric autonomous taxi, would be far lower when compared to a 2014 gasoline-powered private vehicle and a “projected 2030 hybrid vehicle”.
The analysis found that the per-mile greenhouse gas emissions of an electric vehicle deployed as a self-driving, or autonomous, taxi in 2030 would be 63 to 82 percent lower than a projected 2030 hybrid vehicle driven as a privately owned car and 90 percent lower than a 2014 gasoline-powered private vehicle
They go on to say that close to half of these savings will be due to the efficiency of the taxi service.
Based on the potential amount occupants, a taxi tailored to the number of people needing a ride would be deployed.
For a single person, a small taxi would be needed, while 2 or more, would require a larger vehicle.
But how would conventional taxi companies respond to a technology that could potentially put them out of business?
We’ve seen all the rage about Uber and how they allow regular citizens to become cab drivers.
Taxi companies across North America have risen in protest, declaring the service to be unsafe due to unlicensed drivers and vehicles.
A driverless taxi company would eliminate the above conflict by putting both traditional taxi drivers and Uber possibly out of business.
Manufacturers are increasingly equipping driverless cars with advanced safety features that allows for efficient accelerations and braking, eliminating human error through automation by a range of sensors deployed around the vehicle.
These “connected vehicles” can communicate with other driverless vehicles and their surroundings such as traffic lights to plan the best route.
With electricity being cheaper to produce than fuel, there is a real possibility that we might see these driverless taxi services in the future.
More research is being applied to the technology by manufacturers to offer a safe alternative to today’s contested roads.