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Self-Driving Taxis Have Been Launched. Are We Ready For Them?

Self-driving car company Waymo has just announced that fully automated vehicles are now available in some parts of Phoenix, Arizona. This could soon revolutionize transportation, but it is up to us whether we will greet the new service with open arms.

The service is only available in a limited area for now, both because regulations in Arizona are relatively permissive and because the cars need a detailed three-dimensional map to tell them all about the road environment.
Waymo One currently requires a human driver to be present to supervise the self-driving care and override it when necessary, but the new announcement means fully autonomous, unsupervised vehicles. If successful, passengers will have entirely free time in the back seat.

More details about this over at The Conversation.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: John Krafcik/ Twitter)


Reply
Be prepared for auto-taxis to be turned into the public restrooms of the road. An unsupervised, enclosed space you can rent for 30 min to a couple of hours?
Sure there will be cameras, and those cameras are about to capture all manner of drug use/deals, sex, violence, and segments of humanity at their absolute lowest point.
If/when autonomous vehicles hit the real mainstream, I give it less than a year before a 'World's Wildest AutoTaxis!' tv show comes out full of embarrassing nudity and pixelated faces.
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As long as there's still a driver required (which there is) it's not a self driving car at all. It's just driver assist, which cars have had for decades. We're further off from self driving cars than anyone wants to admit.
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