Let’s begin with the basics- What exactly are Robotaxis?
In the simplest terms, it is an automatic car that can be driven without a human driver. Although autopilot modes on airplanes and trains have already been in the market for quite some time now, robotaxis are rookie. The first driverless car was launched in a limited space in Singapore in August 2016. The company modified 2-3 cars which were then sent on a test drive. It became a very popular and well-known venture, with people anticipating the complete overhaul of the industry. Consequently, big players like Renault, Mitsubishi, Uber, and Weymo decided to take a plunge in the emerging wave and introduced driverless cars by modifying their older ones.
It has been speculated that driverless cars will be available in the market by 2022 and their cost will be significantly reduced by 2025. Since these will be cars running on electricity, they will save a lot of fuel and will be environment-friendly.
What is a Robo-taxi?
A Robo taxi, as the name suggests, is a car that is driven by technology and not humans. The high-tech automated cars will no longer require a human figure on the steering wheel. The human race is about to take a backseat (consequences are debatable). We already have driver-less trains in most of the developed and a few developing nations of the world for years now. The robotaxis will be developed on the same lines to work without human interference. It has been predicted that automatic driverless cars will reduce the risks of accidents and thus might just save a lot of human lives. They say humans are reckless!
The developers of automatic cars feel that these driverless taxies will reduce the burden on humans. Since a machine can be more responsible in terms of safe driving thus it will help to solve the worsening situation of road accidents significantly.
This car will also cut the cost of big taxi companies such as Uber because they will not have to spend money on hiring drivers. Currently, robotaxis that are available in the market are the modified version of manual cars and thus are priced a bit higher. However, within 3-4 years, this cost will be reduced to a third of what it is right now.
Due to this high cost, only bigger companies with chains established throughout the world will be able to buy it. The cost might not appeal to the consumers at a large level, but the ultimate goal is to make these driverless cars available at a reduced cost in the long-run. Thus in next 4-5 years, we might see an increase in popularity of these cars in common market as well. In the coming years, consumers might prefer an automatic car over a manual one.
Are self-driving cars the future?
These driverless automatic taxis are said to be the near future. The test drives of Robo taxis have already been successful in Singapore and various places in the US as well as Asia.
“Robotaxi is not that far away. We are targeting early 2022,” the CEO of Mobileye tells CNBC. Self-driving cars will start with fleet operators before general use due to regulatory and cost constraints “that you cannot put on a consumer,” Amnon Shashua had said during a “Mad Money” interview.
“If more cars will be autonomous, more lives would be saved. A computer will do a better job than a human, eventually,” he concludes.
The latest automatic car will be launched by 2022. This will be a bit costly as compared to its contemporaries. However, in the long run, it will save a lot of money. Right now, it is estimated that the difference will be between $15,000-40,000. Therefore, these cars will be available to companies such as Uber and Tesla only. But these taxis will definitely save the cost of hiring a driver.
It has been said that by 2025, this difference will be reduced to $5000, thus, making them available for the common people. Since robotaxis will be completely automatic and will be driven without human intervention, it is more likely that they will follow the traffic rules and the risks of road accidents will be reduced.
In a driverless taxi, there will be no instance of driving under the influence or DUIs. These robotaxis will also fully run on electricity and not fuel thus contributing to the reduction of carbon footprints through transportation.
An overview on the matter
Robo taxis or self-driven taxis are popular among car developers right now. A lot of car companies have collaborated after a few test drives were successful in 2016. Some big companies such as Tesla, Renault, and Daimler have been working on these cars for a long now and may launch their automatic car by the end of 2022. Right now these cars will be costlier as compared with their regular version.
It has been speculated by the developers that they will be able to reduce the cost of these cars a lot and will launch them for the consumers. There is no doubt that once these cars are made available to the public it will become popular. These self-driven taxis and cars are the future of the world and in the next 5-6 years, we might see many driverless cars on the roads. This will completely change the way we view transportation.